Tree maintenance and concerns
City maintenance of Lakewood's Urban Forest
Keeping Lakewood’s street and park trees healthy is a big job. The city has a certified arborist on the Public Works Department staff to advise the city on tree maintenance. Staff responds quickly to emergency conditions and removes limbs and trees if they’re brought down by wind and rain. A contract with West Coast Arborists works to trim city trees on a regular schedule. Street trees are trimmed about every four years (sometimes more often, depending on growing conditions and tree species).
You can report an issue or make a service request for any of these topics:
- Tree trim (if overgrown)
- Damaged or diseased tree
- Tree-damaged sidewalk or curb
Report a tree issue
Caring for your parkway tree
The parkway is the area between the sidewalk and the street in front of a residence. The tree planted there is the property of the City of Lakewood, and it is the city’s sole responsibility to trim it when needed.
Residents should not trim the tree on their own -- they can request a trim if needed. There have been cases of residents (or their gardeners) doing their own trimming in a way that is harmful to the tree or to the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Trimming a city tree without permission is criminal vandalism and can lead to a large fine.
How to water and care for your tree
What to do about other tree-related issues
Neighbor's tree encroaching on your property
If a tree or shrub on your neighbor's property is growing over the fence that divides your properties, the city cannot compel your neighbor to trim it back. This is a civil matter, as it is a property dispute between neighbors.
You may want to seek advice from a lawyer for an explanation of your right to cut back the portion of the tree or shrub which encroaches on your property.
Or, you may also want to contact Dispute Resolution Services at 213-896-6526. DRS provides neighborhood mediation services at a minimal cost.
Tree roots invading sewer lines
Tree roots can enter a pipe that has cracked or leaked with age, creating a block in the sewer line. If this occurs on the sewer lateral which connects home plumbing to the main sewer line, the repair is the responsibility of the homeowner. A cracked and clogged sewer lateral should be repaired or replaced.
You can reduce the chance of future clogs in an aging sewer lateral by having the roots removed by a plumber and then apply a commercial product to retard the growth of the roots in the sewer line. This product is available at home improvement or hardware stores.
Street trees are removed when they meet the city's replacement criteria. The city will not remove a healthy tree just because its roots have entered a broken sewer lateral.