Association Manager Report – September 2018

Forest for the Trees
This was the summer of trees, where homeowners shared various arbor concerns and information. Concerns included trees on neighboring properties, trees on a property line, trees where the trunk and canopy are on differing parcels, trees in common areas, and removal of trees on steep slopes. Blue Ridge does not govern trees or plant material, unless we receive a complaint about a hedge, a policy more about structure than plant. The City of Seattle governs trees and some vegetation; the website offers a wealth of information, not just what regulations apply where, but also handy reference materials and advice.
The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) limits the number and the size of trees that may be removed from private or common property. They also have restrictions on when we can remove shrubs and other vegetation. ( http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/codes/treeprotection )
Environmentally critical areas  
We cannot remove any trees or vegetation from the following environmentally critical areas without a Tree Removal and Vegetation Restoration approval: landslide-prone critical areas, steep slope erosion hazard areas and their buffers, and within 200ft of shoreline, including fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas including riparian corridors, wetlands, and wetland buffers.
Developed property 
We cannot remove any exceptional trees unless they are hazardous. Exceptional trees are trees that are of significant size or have historical, ecological or aesthetic value.
We cannot cut down more than 3 non-exceptional trees 6 inches or greater in diameter each year.
We can remove trees after SDCI has approved a certified tree risk professional’s determination that the trees are hazardous.
Stop Tree Topping
If your trees are being pruned, be sure they are not being topped. Tree topping is an outdated pruning practice that indiscriminately removes large amounts of leaves and branches. It looks terrible, causes serious damage to the tree, and often turns a safe tree into a hazard. ( http://www.seattle.gov/trees )
Street Trees
Most Blue Ridge properties include a street right-of-way of several feet within their front yard. Street Trees installed and maintained in these areas follow stricter regulations to protect utilities and site lines. More information about street trees can be found at:  Seattle Street Tree Manual , with a quick species reference guide here: Street Tree List
I hope this summer you were able to enjoy shade from your favorite tree and look forward to the colors of fall.

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