There are always lots of questions about the numerous Tree Save Areas that are throughout Spring Lakes. Below are natural habitats of protected tree-save areas basic guidelines for properties located near a protected tree-save area which the HOA needs to abide by:
- No mowing or “weed-whacking” may occur in the tree-save area, as this would eliminate the establishment of natural plant regeneration.
- No pruning up (ground to lowest branches) of standing trees within a tree-save is allowed.
- No application of ground cover materials which would inhibit the natural forest floor growth and natural regeneration is permitted. This would include weed-preventing fabrics, wood chips/mulch, or stones.
- No herbicide is to be sprayed within a tree-save area. The exception is the “spot” treatment for poison ivy, oak, and sumac. “Spot” treatment is defined as herbicide sprayed at the root system of the undesired plant only.
- Removal of “hazard trees,” vines, invasive tree or plant species, or stand management in the tree-save is allowed provided a Loudoun County-approved forest management plan prepared by a Professional Forester or Certified Arborist is in place. Hazard trees are defined as any tree that threatens an adjoining property. Tree removal from private property requires consultation from the HOA to ensure the owner is aware of applicable laws. No owner may remove a tree from Association-owned property.
- Removal of fallen trees within the tree-save area is prohibited, as this is part of the natural ecology of the site. The exceptions would be unusual damage from high winds, or insect, disease, fire or drought mortality.
- Pruning back of any and all vegetation extending from a tree-save area into an adjoining property is allowed provided pruning does not extend back into the tree-save area.