Outlined below are guidelines that will assist you in the lawful removal of trees from public or private property in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Within this information are the regulations, specific steps, and ordinances regarding the cutting and removal of dead, dying, injured or hazardous trees.
Tree Removal Permit Regulations for Residential Private Property
Residential property owners in Parkersburg looking to improve their landscape, harvest or remove distressed trees should note that no permit is required by the City. However, knowing the proper way to handle tree removal in various situations can be tricky. Read further for how to handle emergency tree removal situations.
Handling Emergency Tree Situations – Power Lines, Public Property, Sidewalks, City Streets
The City of Parkersburg Public Works Department is responsible for the care, trimming, and removal of all trees on the City’s public right of way (unless adjacent to private property). Listed below are varying cases for the removal of dead, dying or hazardous trees, and how they are to be addressed:
Public Tree Blocking Road or Impeding Traffic – When a storm-damaged limb or fallen tree is encountered in the roadway or impeding traffic, the City’s Public Works Department should be contacted at (304) 424-8568 during business hours.
Outside of business hours and holidays, contact the Parkersburg Police Department at (304) 424-8444, or the Parkersburg Fire Department at (304) 424-8470. In the event of physical damage, personal injury, or an after hours emergency, call 911 for Emergency Services.
Tree Blocking Sidewalk or Driveway – If a fallen tree or large limb is blocking a sidewalk or driveway, the City’s Public Works Department should be contacted at (304) 424-8568.
The Public Works Department will cut the portion of the tree blocking the public right of way. The portion on private property will remain for the property owner to handle.
Note: Trees along side or bordering sidewalks are the responsibility of the property owner of which they are adjacent to.
Tree Fallen on Private Property – If a tree or branch from an adjacent public right of way falls onto your yard or private property, and is not blocking the public right of way, the responsibility to have the tree removed is yours.
Power Line or Utility Interfering Tree – Mon Power will trim back or remove interfering trees. Residents should report power outages and trees that pose a hazard to utilities and power lines to Mon Power at (888) 544-4877, or contact them online here.
For further info on how Mon Power handles tree damage or interference, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/help/safety/trees.html
Public Tree Diseased, Dead or Dying – If there appears to be a dead or dying tree on city property that needs to be checked for removal, the City’s Public Works Department should be contacted at (304) 424-8568.
Private Tree Fallen on Public Property – If a tree from your yard or private property falls onto public property, the City’s Public Works Department should be contacted at (304) 424-8568.
Note: The City will only cut up the portion of the tree in the public right of way and set it aside for the property owner to resolve. Ultimately, the disposal of the tree in its entirety is the property owner’s responsibility.
For more info or to contact Public works, visit http://parkersburgcity.com/pc/welcome-to-public-works/
City of Parkersburg Tree Ordinance Regulations
The City ordinances regarding trees within Parkersburg relate more toward the responsibilities of property owners and the trees adjacent to their property.
As an example: Property owners are responsible for the proper trimming, pruning and if necessary, the partial or total removal of any tree adjacent to their property.
For more in depth ordinance information as it relates to property owners and trees, the following are excerpts from – The City of Parkersburg, West Virginia’s Municipal Code Library (Part 9 – Chapter 1 – Article 905 – Trees)
905.01 Trimming Trees Required.
Each shade tree along or upon any street, sidewalk or alley within the corporate limits of the City shall be kept so trimmed that there shall be a clear space of at least eight feet between the lowest limb of such tree and the level of the sidewalk, street or alley.
It shall be the duty of the owner and of the occupant of any property abutting on any such street, sidewalk or alley to cause all shade trees upon and along such street, sidewalk or alley to be trimmed and kept trimmed so as to comply with the provisions of this section.
(1947 Code §25.29)
905.02 Removal of trees interfering with free passage of traffic.
In case any tree growing along any street, sidewalk or alley of the City shall so slant or grow over such street, sidewalk or alley so as to interfere with free passage thereon, or make it possible for the tops of vehicles to strike such tree, the Director of Public Works shall notify the owner of the premises abutting upon that portion of the street, sidewalk or alley on which such tree is located to remove the same, and no person shall fail to do so within thirty-six hours after receipt of such notice.
(1947 Code §25.31)
905.03 Duty of owner to trim or remove decayed or overgrown limbs or trees.
(a) If any tree upon, along or overhanging any street, sidewalk or alley becomes decayed or for other reasons is likely to fall or be blown down, or if any branches thereof become broken, decayed or overgrown in length so as to be likely to be blown down or otherwise fall down, the owner of the premises abutting upon the street, sidewalk or alley upon which such tree is located, shall cause the decayed limbs to be removed, or the tree to be removed, as the case may be. If the tree is removed, unless it is entirely upon his own premises, the owner shall cause the stump thereof to be removed. When, in the opinion of the Director of the Department of Public Works, there is danger of such a tree or a limb thereof falling or being blown down, he shall notify the owner of the property to remove the tree or limb, as the case may be, and failure to do so after thirty-six hours after the notice has been served shall constitute a violation of this section.
(b) If any tree upon, along or overhanging any street, sidewalk or alley interferes with the proper maintenance or operation of the signal system of the Fire Department, the signal system of the Police Department or with any street lighting system, electric distribution system, telephone system or telegraph system operated by any public utility corporation, the agents or employees of such department or corporation shall be permitted to cut, trim or remove so much of the tree or the limbs or branches thereof as may be necessary to eliminate such interference. No person shall interfere with or prevent, or attempt to interfere with or prevent such cutting, trimming or removal.
(Ord. 19041. Passed 8-7-51.)
Whoever violates any provision of this article shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).
(Ord. 0-584. Passed 1-9-90.)
The above statutes, articles, and full Codified Ordinances of the City of Parkersburg, West Virginia can be found in the Municipal Code Library.
City of Parkersburg Property Development and Land Disturbance Permit
The City of Parkersburg does not require additional permits for the removal of trees from land to be developed.
State of West Virginia Foresters and Loggers
The State of West Virginia has established a set of laws and regulations which address logging operations. While this manual was written primarily for loggers and foresters, you will find many useful laws and regulations applicable to other segments of the logging industry. Visit www.wvforestry.com/Laws_and_Regs_for_WV_Loggers.pdf to review the extensive logging manual.
City of Parkersburg Departments and Utility Company Contact Info
The City of Parkersburg Public Works Division can provide further clarification on the tree ordinance, permit, land development, and logging requirements. Use the below information to contact the respective city department and/or power company.
City of Parkersburg
Public Works Division
PO Box 1627
Parkersburg, WV 26102
Non-Emergency City of Parkersburg
Fire Department: (304) 424-8470
Police Department: (304) 424-8444
For tree removal permit and ordinance info for other West Virginia cities and counties, visit: http://www.treeremovalpermit.com/west-virginia/