Are Tree Removal Permits Required in Utah?


In all likelihood, you won't need to get a tree removal permit. In most cases, northern Utah homeowners can go ahead and take down a tree without getting anyone's permission. But, we can't guarantee that the decision is completely yours to make. Utah state law protects certain species, and there's a chance that the location of your home or that of the tree could stop you from moving forward with removal.

Removing a Utah Heritage Species Requires a Permit


In 1975, the Utah Heritage Tree Act was approved by the legislature of the state. Under the law, some specimens are protected - which means you'll need a permit if the one you want to remove: 

  • Has local, state or national historic significance 

  • Is exceptionally large or well-formed for the species 

  • Is quite old for a specimen of that particular species 

  • May be one of the last representatives of the species

Not sure if your tree fits any of those descriptions? A local certified arborist can determine whether or not you need to get a tree removal permit.


​Local Regulations May Interfere with Tree Removal


The last thing you want is to remove a tree that shouldn't be removed - and while your specimen may not be protected under Utah law, local codes and regulations could prohibit removal without a permit. For that reason, you'd be wise to check with local officials before you proceed. ​In addition, tree removal may require permission from your homeowners' association. Often, HOAs must be consulted when making landscaping decisions, and yours may only agree to removal if the specimen in question is a liability. 


​Make Sure You Own a Tree Before Planning on Removal


Let's say you want to remove a tree that isn't a protected species, and you don't live in a HOA community. You can go ahead with the removal - if, that is, you're sure you don't need to get your neighbor's permission. ​If any portion of the trunk is on the property line, you and your neighbor share ownership. And if you don't get their consent before removing it, you could be held financially liable in court.


​Is Tree Removal Really Necessary?


Damaged, unhealthy and at-risk specimens aren't always beyond saving. Removal might not be the only course of action - so before making any decisions, have a local certified arborist come out to perform an in-person inspection. ​The highly experienced arborists at Rivendell Tree Experts, a local industry leader serving Salt Lake City and the surrounding northern Utah area, offer free, no-obligation consultations. To discuss tree removal with a member of the Rivendell team, reach out to our Lehi office today.

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