When drafting a letter to request the removal of a tree, certain elements must be included. It’s essential to clearly articulate the issue with the tree, ensuring it’s a valid concern. Merely mentioning that the tree fills the gutters with leaves won’t suffice.

Below you will see a sample letter which you can copy and fill in the blanks that work for your personal situation.

sample letter to HOA to remove a tree

Excuses to HOA for tree removal

Some excuses just won’t fly when it comes to tree removal, and some excuses will put the HOA on notice and have them rushing to help you remove it.

Good excuses

  • Tree is dropping large branches. Lives at risk
  • Tree is damaging home foundations
  • Tree is full of termites
  • Tree is dead
  • Tree is not safe1 due to lean or other structural damage

Bad excuses

  • Tree is dropping leaves on my roof
  • I just want to get rid of it (stomping foot)
  • Roots are blocking drains
  • Tree is creating too much shade

Before you write your letter

Before you start, you need to look at your local tree removal laws. HOA might have its policies, but it is bound by county laws that supersede HOA policy. Even if it wanted to remove a tree, if the county or state does not allow it, there is little they can do.

Google search: “Tree removal laws [your county]”

Once you have found your county’s website, look for which trees can be removed and which can not. Make sure your excuse aligns with what is legal before you petition the HOA.

Sample letter to HOA for tree removal

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in relation to a large tree that is on my property [insert address] that has begun to damage the foundations of my home and dropping branches. I feel this is a danger to myself and my property.

I have attached photos of the tree and the damage it has already caused by falling branches and the lifting of my home’s foundations. I really love this tree, and it has served us well over the years, but unfortunately, I think it is becoming a liability to the community.

I do understand we are bound by county laws for tree removal, and I also understand that the Homeowners Association also has its own HOA policy regarding tree removal. Under the circumstances, I think the tree should be removed and replaced with a new tree that can grow into its location. I am open to suggestions about the species but would prefer something that didn’t get so large.

Thank you for your consideration, and I’m looking forward to your response.


[Your Name]

Download this as a PDF

3 Keys to a great letter to HOA for tree removal

1. Clearly state the reason for removal

Make sure you state the tree is either doing damage or you fear for your life as it has begun to drop large branches. HOA’s are not above being sued and they are well aware of this. If you point out danger and neglect to take action, they could be liable if something were to go wrong.

Gutters filled with leaves and roots blocking drains are not a danger. Stick to more serious problems.

2. State you love the tree and do want it removed

I think it’s important to point out you don’t want to remove the tree, you simply have to. It will stop an over-the-top greeny from accusing you of killing the planet. Let them know you love trees and you are willing to replace them once removed, but it’s simply a hazard and must go.

3. Include photos

If you have photos that can support your claims, you will be a lot more successful. It will also speed up the process as a representative will not have to come out and take a look for themselves.

  1. International Society of Arboriculture, (2019) Tree Hazards and Risks <https://www.treesaregood.org/treeowner/treehazards> Accessed: 15-02-2024
Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.