Hurricane Sandy seems to have left Virginia with less devastation than feared. Nevertheless, the storm caused lots of trees to fall completely and also left others in a damaged and potentially hazardous state.
If a downed tree is near wires, stay away. Never remove trees, limbs or anything else that are near or touching a downed wire.
If the tree is on public/county land, contact the following agencies:
- Near public streets and roads: Call VDOT at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623), TTY 711
- Fairfax County Parks: Call the Park Authority’s Operations Division at 703-324-8594, TTY 711
- Northern Virginia Regional Parks: Call the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority at 703-352-5900, TTY 711.
- Stormwater management ponds: Call the Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division at 703-877-2800, TTY 711
- Public school property: Call the Fairfax County Public Schools at 571-423-2350, TTY 711.
If the tree is on private property, the property owner is responsible for maintaining their trees. Fairfax County has no authority to force a tree removal on private property unless it is a public hazard. See our article from last year called “My Neighbor’s Tree is Ruining My Driveway“.
In general a homeowner can remove a tree on their property as they wish. However, conservation easements are common in Northern Virginia (may also be called things like Resource Protection Area – RPA, or an Environmental Quality Corridor.) See our article called “What RPA means and why you should care.”
If the tree is in a conservation easement, you will need contact the Urban Forest Management Division at 703-324-1770 for them to come by and take a look before you do anything.