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Trees on a neighborhood street.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – A lot of the great sitcoms and movies over the years have included an encounter of neighbors arguing over tree legalities. In The Golden Girls, there was a fight about a neighbor’s tree causing damage. In Steel Magnolias, there was a dispute about which neighbor owned a magnolia tree. While these moments were fun to laugh at, trees and legal matters are a fact of life, especially in urban areas. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has created the Trees and the Law webinar series to help homeowners better understand the legal aspects of tree ownership.

Great Learning Opportunity

Beau Brodbeck, an Alabama Extension community forestry and arboriculture specialist, said this three-part series is a great learning opportunity for homeowners.

“Through this series, homeowners will be familiarized with some of the key legal concepts associated with managing urban trees,” Brodbeck said. “Presenters will address these concepts from several professional perspectives, including commercial, consulting and municipal forest management.”

The following presentations will be a part of the series:

  • May 27
    • Key Legal Concepts: Negligence and Duty
    • Neighbor Law
  • June 3
    • Concepts of Risk and Liability for Commercial and Consulting Arborists
    • A Review of ANSI A300 and How It Affects How You Do Business
  • June 17
    • How are Alabama Communities Addressing Tree Risk and Liability: Results from an Alabama Study
    • Managing Municipal Forests: Where are the Legal Challenges?
    • Good Steps, Bad Steps

Details and Registration

There are three dates in this series: May 27, June 3 and June 17. Each webinar presentation is through Zoom and starts at Noon CT. For the general public, this series is free to attend, however, people must complete registration. Registration can be done on the Trees & the Law: Understanding Key Legal Concepts and Best Management Practices for Reducing Liability page on the Alabama Extension website.

For those wishing to count the presentations toward continuing education credits, there is a processing fee of $25 per session. In addition to registering for the webinar, attendees must register separately for the CEUs through the Alabama Extension Store.

“People can count this series toward several continuing education categories, including ISA continuing education unit credits for arborists and SAF continuing forestry education credits for foresters,” Brodbeck said.

More Information

The Trees and the Law webinar series is a sub section of the Raising Trees Webinar Series. That series is a bimonthly webinar that provides education to professionals and homeowners in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry. For more information on either of these series, visit www.aces.edu or contact Brodbeck at brodbam@aces.edu.

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