Tree FAQs

Do you have questions about trees on your property or in your neighborhood? Here are some answers to questions we often receive about trees in Wilde Lake:

  • Do I need permission to remove a tree?

    Yes, the Wilde Lake Covenants require residents to obtain permission from Columbia Association before removing a tree with a trunk diameter greater than six inches, even dead trees. Click here to access the request form.

  • If my neighbor's tree falls on my property, who is responsible for clean-up and repairing damages?

    It is the responsibility of the homeowner on whose property the tree lands, not on whose property the tree stands.  Generally, in Maryland, the cost of removing the tree and repairing any property damage falls to the owner of the property that sustained the damage.

  • My neighbor's tree is overhanging my property. Can I trim the branches?

    Yes, you have the right to trim neighboring trees or bushes that overhang your property line, or remove roots growing into your property boundary, so long as the bush or tree is not harmed.

  • What should I do if I am concerned that a neighbor's tree will fall on my property?

    Tree issues are most effectively dealt with between neighbors.  A prudent step is to send your neighbor a certified letter informing him or her of your concerns.  While this might be the step that encourages your neighbor to remove the tree, it also puts your neighbor on notice that you had prior concerns about the safety of the tree.  If a problem occurs, your insurance company may be able to use that information while settling a possible claim.

  • Can the Wilde Lake Covenant Advisor assess the condition of a tree?

    No, only a certified arborist can determine the health of a tree. However, in some instances, depending on the season, the Covenant Advisor is able to make a reasonable determination about whether a tree is dead.

    To find a certified arborist or tree expert, use the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ online directory: Maryland Tree Experts List.

  • I'm concerned about a street tree in my neighborhood.

    Street trees – those trees located between the sidewalk and the street – are generally Howard County’s responsibility to maintain. To report issues with a street tree, use the County’s Tell HoCo app.