Tree Trouble – Part II, Self-Help

In part one of our three-part series on Tree Trouble, my colleague David Silver wrote about Timber Trespass. In this post, I’m going to discuss self-help. Self-help is the legal term that describes “taking the law into your own hands”—literally.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Properly Pruned Trees

As the fall leaves drop and the winter wind starts howling, tree limbs will be left barren, making this the perfect time to prune. Pruning makes for happy, healthy trees for years to come.  “The best time to prune is

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160 Brookside trees might get chopped (CA)

A Brookside neighborhood association has asked the city for permission to remove up to 160 trees from a route often used by walkers and runners, saying that the roots are damaging property owners’ backyards and potentially their homes.  The city

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Hurricane Matthew’s tree damage – some of it preventable? (SC)

While plans for revising local tree policies have not yet been adopted, experts offer several suggestions to mitigate tree damage before the next hurricane.  Scientists at the University of Florida analyzed tree damage after 10 Florida hurricanes and found advanced

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Winterize Your Community

The winter can be a lot of fun, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your home and community. It’s important that before the winter weather hits, you get your neighborhood ready for bad weather. Check out

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Pesticide battle pits homeowners in Lafayette against HOA (CO)

The lawns in Lafayette’s Lilac Hill neighborhood may be covered with fallen leaves but they are still lush and green.  The HOA wants to make sure the grass stays weed-free and in tip-top shape. To accomplish that, they use fertilizers

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How to Start a Community Garden

A community garden can be a great way to boost community interaction and give everyone something to share. If you’re considering starting a community garden in your HOA, check out these how-to tips.  Before you run out and start planting

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What to Consider When Planning Your Community Landscaping

Beautiful landscaping is integral to any community. The right community landscaping can enhance your property values and make the area more enticing to prospective homebuyers and residents. Whether you’re investing for the first time or revamping your community landscaping, here

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Fall Landscaping Checklist

With fall upon us, we’re eagerly awaiting the transformation of bright green leaves to the buttery yellow, deep red and vibrant orange colors the season is best known for. The changing autumn colors really are the best part of the

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For my fellow property management pros, it’s that time of year again.

Yes! Can you believe it’s almost winter? And, you know what that means…it’s time to write and distribute your fall/winter newsletter to your renters. Too busy, you say? I know the feeling! That’s the reason for today’s post. I’m sharing

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Budgeting for Snow Removal Without a Crystal Ball

For community associations that maintain their own streets, exterior parking lots and sidewalks, snow removal services can easily be one of the highest budgeted expenses each year. In the real estate boom of the early 2000’s, buyers purchased homes without

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4 Tips to Winterize Your Community

The winter can be a lot of fun, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your home and community. It’s important that before the winter weather hits, you get your neighborhood ready for bad weather. Check out

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Budget Tips: 5 Reasons Your Landscape Maintenance Costs May Increase

Landscape maintenance budgets can be a major component for homeowners associations and in some cases condominium budgets. What should your association be prepared for in your 2017 budgets? Unfortunately, there are several market forces that have resulted in increased costs

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Budgeting for Snow Removal Without a Crystal Ball

For community associations that maintain their own streets, exterior parking lots and sidewalks, snow removal services can easily be one of the highest budgeted expenses each year. In the real estate boom of the early 2000’s, buyers purchased homes without

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Preparing For the Invasion: How Can Co-ops and Condos Deal with Invasive Species

Trees have their own natural enemies, but perhaps the most devastating for co-op, condo and HOA communities are invasive species of insects like the emerald ash borer (EAB).  Originating in Asia, this predator of ash trees is now present in

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Seeing Red Before Fall? Early Fall Color Can Be a Sign of Tree Stress

Vibrant red, orange and gold leaves are one of the best parts of fall. Many cities across the country are known for their beautiful fall show. But, it’s a problem when trees show early signs of fall well before summer

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‘Prevention is better than cure’: Local homeowners association warns residents of Zika threat (FL)

The news of Palm Beach County’s first non travel related case of Zika is putting many on alert.  Folks in one neighborhood in Palm Beach Gardens taking every measure they can – just in case.   Read the article…………….

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Weathering costs, the elements: Four tips for an association’s landscaping

Landscaping can consume a huge chunk of a community association’s budget, and hot, dry seasons are rough on that investment.  It’s easy to see when grass turns sandy-colored from lack of water. Other damage is less obvious until too late.

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July Is A GREAT Time To Discuss Snow Removal

On behalf of snow contractors everywhere, if you currently have your snow and ice management contract signed, and/or plan to have it signed on or before October 15th, please consider yourself “HIGH FIVED”. Your pro-active leadership should pay off big

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Operation: Landscape

There are many parts to the landscape “game.” Some are small, some large, some moving and some waving their arms frantically in the air, calling you over to handle the imaginary emergency that needs to get taken care of immediately

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The Spring Landscaping Checklist

Winter is finally a distant memory, although it did snow into April. It’s amazing how Toronto has lost its blended seasons and simply goes from one season to the next without any break in between. That being said, let’s get

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HOA & Xeriscaping

When you hear the word “xeriscaping,” does it evoke images in your mind of endless gravel, rocks, and cacti? Well, if you’re like most people, this is probably how you tend to view xeriscaping and it may seem less-than-appealing to

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Ashburn (VA) community chooses goats over lawn mowers

The Belmont Community Association in Ashburn has contracted a herd of goats from Eco-Goat, an Annapolis-based company, to spend the week removing invasive plants from one of its “tree save” areas.  David Mowbray, a grounds committee member of the Belmont

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Operation: Landscape

There are many parts to the landscape “game.” Some are small, some large, some moving and some waving their arms frantically in the air, calling you over to handle the imaginary emergency that needs to get taken care of immediately

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Starting A Landscape Plan As A Property Owners Association

If your association has landscaped common areas, then you should have a grounds maintenance (landscaping) contract for the association in place. The key to being successful long-term with any landscaping plan, and financial investment, is to start out with a

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Is Hardscaping Right for Your Community? Non-Organic Landscaping

When most people think of landscaping, they think of shrubs, trees, meticulously laid-out and maintained flowerbeds, and artful plantings scattered around a building or development. However, landscaping doesn’t need to end with the things that grow.    Read the article…………

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Tips from Our Property Management Team – Mulch

Keep mulch from exceeding 3” in depth. This includes OLD and NEW mulch. Consider removing old mulch before applying a fresh layer. Too much mulch leads to a decline in plant health. The extra mulch used leads to increased material

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Zika & Mosquito-Borne Viruses: The Best Course of Action to Protect Your Community

First, the best way to prevent any mosquito-borne illness is to prevent mosquitos! This is true for any mosquito-borne illness. Thankfully, mosquito mitigation is something that is well understood and simple to put into action. The most important task any

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Managing a Major Project in a Condo Association: An Overview

It is inevitable that there will be a major project in your Condo Association. All major systems will degrade over time and eventually will need to be repaired or replaced. Examples include roofs, garages, facades, elevators, HVAC systems, fire alarms,

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Mosquitoes in your Community?

Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading the Zika virus, which is why, now is the best time to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to limiting these pesky, and sometimes dangerous, populations on your condominium or homeowners association. Following a

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Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow (NC)

Many property owners’ associations across North Carolina are faced with the annual challenge of clearing snow and ice from the community’s roads, sidewalks, and other common areas. Assuming there is no specific guidance in the community’s governing documents, what is

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Snow Removal Contracts

If winter brings snow to your neighborhood, you need to hire a snow removal company. A good snow removal company can keep your streets clean, so your residents can get in and out with ease. If you’re considering hiring a

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Using Volunteers for Snow Removal Is Never a Good Idea

With budgets being finalized and the winter season approaching, association boards are again faced with the significant and sometimes unanticipated expenses associated with snow removal. In an effort to reduce these expenses, an unwise board may consider using volunteers to

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Tis the Season for Stress: Holiday Decorations and Snow Removal in Community Associations

Every year as the holidays approach, community association owners and renters become passionate about two issues: decorations and snow removal. With some forethought, boards of directors and managers can avoid conflict and liability around these issues.    Read the article………..

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Winter Preparation

Although temperatures are yet to seriously plummet, chilly mornings promise that frigid temperatures are on the way. To prepare for winter weather, there are a few things condo associations should do to ensure the safety of tenants and their guests

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7 Ways Condo Landscaping Can Increase Your Occupancy Rate

Take a moment to picture yourself in a beautiful location. Go ahead, I’ll wait.  What does that location look like for you? Is it filled with the beauty of nature? Are there water features or colorful trees? Now, think: how

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Do You Have a Problem With Trees?

Trees can add beauty to any yard and create valuable shade as well as improve property value. However, when trees become too big, they can lead to aesthetic and more serious problems. If you have big trees in your community,

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Community Associations and Snow

From Thanksgiving until the end of winter (and sometimes even later), snow may fall in area community associations and create issues of safety and parking that can escalate and become dangerous. The biggest concern and perhaps the biggest complaint that

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How to Order a Community Entrance Sign, or Any Other Signs (NC)

Signage is an important part of the impression created when someone visits your community. It’s the first thing residents see when they enter. It’s also the first thing that prospective home buyers see when they are considering buying a home

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How to decipher a condo homeowners association budget (AK)

Not all condos are created the same and therefore not all homeowners association budgets will be alike. A townhouse style condo generally sits on a single tract of land. But it can also sit on a platted duplex or four-plex

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It’s Time to Communicate Your Association’s Snow and Ice Removal Policy

Unfortunately, snow and ice are a fact of life in Ohio. When temperatures drop and snow starts falling, board members are often faced with questions and complaints about snow and ice removal. To better protect the association from liability and

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4 Quick Tips to Protect Your Trees from Damage during Fall

With fall upon us, we await the arrival of the beautiful, vibrant colors to dawn the leaves of our beloved trees. Over just a few weeks, those bright green leaves transform into shades of dark brown, buttery yellow, deep red

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You Can’t Prevent Snow and Ice but You Can Manage the Liability Risks They Create

Condominium residents, not unreasonably, expect parking lots to be plowed and walkways to be cleared of snow and ice. Boards that fail to deliver those expected services face not only the ire of residents, but also potential liability if residents

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Can’t Top That! Tree Topping in HOA’s

Homeowner associations often deal with tree issues in the form of view blocking or overcrowding as they age and grow. Tree topping is sometimes used to address the view issue. But tree topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning

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Waging War on HOA Weeds

Why is it that the plants you want to keep green and living always brown and wilt, while the weeds you try to kill flourish and drive you nuts? It’s a problem that plagues every yard, in every community no

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Who Is Responsible for Community Upkeep?

If you are curious about Home Owners Association or community common areas and upkeep, the answers are going to require a bit of legwork and investigation. After all, the governing documents of towns and HOAs vary widely, and the bylaws,

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How to Start a Community Garden

A community garden can be a great way to boost community interaction and give everyone something to share. If you’re considering starting a community garden in your HOA, check out these how-to tips.    Read the article……….

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Goats return to the Issaquah Highlands (WA)

Goats have returned to the Issaquah Highlands to clean up dry growth on the area’s steep hillsides, with nothing but the power of their prodigious appetites.     Read the article……….

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Reducing Liabilities in Your Community Parking Lot

No one likes being sued, but unfortunately, America has become a litigious society. Whether you were not warned that your coffee was too hot, or you slipped and fell on your untied shoelaces, it always seems to be the fault

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Yes, in My Back (and Front) Yard!

But in communities overseen by homeowners associations—where 20 percent of all U.S. homeowners live—progress can be slower. While some HOAs support and even codify gardening for wildlife, many are still attached to the anachronistic symbol of suburbia: lush lawns that,

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