However, some itinerant tree removal companies may take advantage of the situation to tell homeowners that the tree is dead and then, of course, offer to remove it at a bargain price. Before you agree to this, there are two things you need to know if you live in Oakland Mills:
1. Tree removal requires approval in advance from the Oakland Mills Architecture Committee Chairperson. To start the process, you submit an application to the Resident Architecture Committee (RAC), which you can download from the Oakland Mills Website.
This is an ironclad requirement of the Covenants that you agreed to when you closed on the purchase of your house—one of the pile of documents that you probably don’t remember signing, but it’s a precondition of buying property in Columbia.
2. In reviewing your application, RAC members will look at the tree to see if it is in fact diseased, dying, or in danger of falling onto your house. A Columbia Association expert may take a look at it. If removal is approved, it may stipulate that the tree must be replaced, especially if there are fewer than three trees left on the property.
The reason this requirement is embedded in our covenants is that James Rouse was passionate about trees. Back in the 1960s, developers simply bulldozed the entire area to make it easier to bring in construction equipment. Rouse, however, assigned a landscape architect to save every tree he possibly could. “Right behind the surveyors, he tramped through the project and tagged every tree where graders were to operate,” according to Columbia and the New Cities, by Gurney Breckenfeld. Fifty years later, we now know the importance of trees, not just for aesthetic reasons but also for their role in carbon capture