There have been sightings of “crape murder” in Church Hill and some of the trees affected are city street trees.  While we may not always agree on proper pruning techniques for crape myrtles, pruning of city street trees is a violation of city ordinance.  Tree Policy Ordinance Section 2. Permits Required: “Citizens . . . shall not plant, prune, remove . . . or otherwise disturb any tree on any street or municipal-owned property without first filling out an application and procuring a permit . .  and approval by the city arborist”.   The application can be found at

An easier way to get help with smaller trees that require structural pruning or sidewalk and street clearance pruning is to contact the Richmond City Tree Stewards and request assistance at  A Tree Steward in your area will take care of getting the appropriate permissions and will be happy to take care of city trees at no expense to the homeowners.  Pruning projects are what Tree Stewards live for!

Tree Stewards may be able to reach some of the branches on larger trees with pole pruners but can’t tackle the really big jobs. Larger trees that require extensive pruning can be approached in one of two ways.   If there appears to be an immediate hazard to passing cars or pedestrians please notify the city arborist through the City’s RVA311 request site. However, there is a large backlog for routine maintenance of large trees, so the best approach if you want something done in a timely manner is to contact a local tree company with certified arborists and have them submit the application and perform the maintenance at your expense.

Originally published in the Church Hill News