• Home Home

Homeowner at their wits' end with nonstop complaints from HOA about their tree: 'This is borderline harassment'

The HOA refused to provide a more specific set of guidelines.

The HOA refused to provide a more specific set of guidelines.

Photo Credit: iStock

After endless attempts to comply with a homeowners association's tree-trimming demands, one homeowner said they didn't know what more they could do.

HOAs can get unreasonable about anything that affects the appearance of a home, including trees in the yard. Even though mature trees increase the value of a home, improve the mental health of residents, filter pollution from the air, and produce oxygen, some HOAs seem set on removing as many trees as possible.

According to this Redditor, their HOA didn't outright call for them to remove their tree — but it's not clear what the HOA does want.

"I keep getting letters to trim my oak tree," the homeowner explained. "I cut down the low-hanging branches so that anyone can walk on the sidewalk unobstructed, and same for any overhanging the street."

So far, so good — but apparently, that wasn't enough. "Once I think I've complied, I get another notice," they said. "I cut more off, get another notice."

Confused, the Redditor approached the HOA to clarify its guidelines for tree trimming. "I've asked where specifically on the tree do they want me to trim, and the answer I get is that the branches need to be 8-10 feet from the ground. I say it is, it gets closed," they said. "Then a couple months later, another notice."

According to the Redditor, they provided photos of their tree; they asked for someone from the management company to come by the property and check; they asked what specific branches were causing the issue. The HOA refused to provide clearer guidance at any point, and the notices kept rolling in.

"I really have no idea what to do about this," they said. "What am I supposed to do? If I start hacking away, will I get in trouble for trimming too much? What would you do?"

Commenters were outraged at the treatment. "This is borderline harassment," said one user. "Take a picture of the tree every week and email it to them."

Another user had a more practical suggestion. "The management company works for the board, your neighbors," they said. "Attend a meeting and tell the board the management company is wasting your time and the HOA's money."

Working with an HOA and following its internal processes is often the most efficient way to change a rule or overturn a judgment. To learn how, start with this guide.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider