Q&A: Do I Have to Remove My Tree?

Q. The board is asking me to remove my tree on my property where I’ve lived for over 20 years. I believe it’s the board’s responsibility to maintain or remove the tree, not mine.

 In a letter sent to me, they said that they are concerned that the root and branches of the tree, which is in my backyard, is damaging the facade and could break my neighbor’s window due to strong winds. They also said the roots are growing underneath my unit, which can potentially rupture a gas line.

 The letter states that if I decide to keep my tree, that I must sign an indemnification letter that says I am responsible for any damages caused by the the roots and branches to my unit and others’, and that the indemnification removes the board from any culpability. The letter also says the board recommends that if I maintain the tree, I should trim the branches and reduce the tree’s height.

Overall, they are recommending that I remove the tree to avoid potential unsafe conditions for myself and neighbors. The board is working on getting an estimate for tree maintenance and removal. So am I obligated to have that tree removed? What recourse do I have if I decide not to?

                                     —Vexed Tenant

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