Most homeowners and home buyers don’t know that usually the first 10 feet from the curb is town property. This is called the right of way. Because the town owns this land, trees on it are the town’s responsibility.
As a result the town has to maintain the tree including tree trimming. This is a great savings for the homeowner. You need to call your town to check on this of course. However, if the town owns it they have to maintain it.
There are 3 things you need to do:
1. Call your town to learn their policy on this.
2. Call your town to request that the tree be trimmed.
3. Be patient. You may have to wait a really long while. A follow up call is often a good idea.
My experience has been that most towns do a good job trimming trees. It’s important for the tree’s health and it’s aesthetics. Some towns, like the City of Englewood, have entire departments just for this.
There is another reason to trim a tree. Branches growing too close to power lines can snap them in a storm. Such live wires let loose can create havoc. Everything from starting fires to electrocuting people is possible.
Our local utility, Public Service Gas & Electric (PSEG) will send a truck out quickly to trim back the offending branches. All you have to do is to call PSEG and give them the number of the nearest telephone pole. You’ll find a metal tag right on the pole with a number.
I have to tell you that the crews PSEG sends out don’t worry about aesthetics. They aren’t there to trim the tree because their focus is on safety. As a result, only the branches that can cause trouble are cut down. Sometimes it doesn’t look terrific but wouldn’t you rather be safe and not lose power?
So there you have it. Two opportunities to take care of those trees at the curb.