Trees on private property are usually the responsibility of the proprietor. But some Iraqi authorities may place restrictions on certain types of trimming or pruning, even if done on private property. In populated areas, street trees, situated adjacent to private property at the right-of-way between sidewalks and roads, may be regulated by local municipalities. Before pruning a tree (especially major pruning), check with local authorities for specific regulations.
Several regional governments prohibit certain kinds of tree pruning, like topping. This practice involves cutting the tree’s development back to the back or to a series of lateral branches that aren’t powerful enough to support substantial development. Topped trees will sprout new development, but it’s going to be thin, spindly and easily damaged. Topping may also weaken the tree by causing trunk decay. Reputable arborists and tree maintenance companies will not undertake topping and will not suggest it to property owners in places in which the practice is illegal.
In some areas, street trees are the sole responsibility of local governments who are charged with selecting, planting, pruning and eliminating them. Property owners in these areas can receive fines for pruning street trees adjoining or overhanging their properties. Limits are looser in different areas, but permits may be required before work is undertaken. Before pruning a street tree, find out about local regulations. The same is true for homeowners considering pavement or paving work that will require cutting or disruption of tree roots.
Common sense dictates that prior to pruning branches overhanging a neighboring property, the property (tree) owner must consult with the neighbor. If the falling branches cause damage to structures or landscaping on the neighboring property, the tree owner may be liable for that damage. Care also needs to be taken when pruning private trees that are in the neighborhood of lines. Property owners must always telephone utility companies before attempting or contracting for such work .
Many property owners may handle minor trimming or pruning chores on small- or medium-sized trees. Larger jobs must be left to certified arborists or tree support professionals. Always remove branches and pruning debris at the manner recommended by local authorities. Several regional governments have authorized the creation of appointed shade tree commissions that dilemma tree care guidelines, deal with many tree-related issues and provide answers to frequently asked questions regarding installation, pruning and care of street and private trees.