Please check Milpitas's Street Tree Ordinance and other information regarding trees at http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/government/pworks/trees.asp.
The downside to having a tree in front of the house depends on how big your yard is and how close is it to the house. As my colleagues and other commenters have mentioned below, a large tree's roots could affect your sewer lines and other lines. PG & E does prune trees that touch on or affect power lines/etc, but that is also a possible risk/downside.
Also, even though I have never had a client who experienced this, but some of my clients have worried about trees decomposing and falling over on their homes.
There are also many reasons why trees in the front yard are good for you and your home. I hope you examine those reasons as well!
Good luck to you,
Will Jenkins | http://www.treesunlimitedmass.com/Tree-Services-Worcester-MA.html
Right if the tree is on the pavement, it belongs to the city, and it's unlikely that they will let
You cut it down, unless of course it is diseased or tilting and likely to fall on the house.
It would be the city that would be responsible for pruning and trimming the tree, also time to time
PG&E does trim trees of they interfere with power lines.
Actually, Cities have passed ordinances where in San Jose it is preferred to have a tree associated with
A house. The down side can always be that the bigger the trees get the roots can interfere with the
Sewer line from your home to the city sewer line.
As for pruning, cleaning, etc. again the Public Works Dept. can tell you, but if it's in the park strip (the area between the sidewalk and the curb the homeowner is responsible for cleaning, and the city may or may not prune. If it's interfering with power lines PG & E will prune to keep it away from the wires.
Generally trees actually increase the value of the home: they provide shade in the summer keeping cooling costs down; a deciduous tree will shed its leaves in winter allowing more sunlight in then; and they're beautiful.
I so you can contact the Forestry Division at (650) 903-6273 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First question: Who owns the tree? The general principle is that you can trim back a tree that's intruding into your space so long as you don't kill or injure the tree. That often occurs with trees growing on one neighbor's property, with the branches extending over into the other neighbor's airspace. The second neighbor is allowed to trim or prune those branches. But not to do such severe trimming or pruning that the tree's health is endangered.
If it's your tree--if it's on your property--you can generally do anything you want. However, there are cases when you can't. For instance, there is a well-known case in the Washington, D.C., area of a big poobah who owned a house near a river. He didn't like the trees in the way, so he cut them down. Some of the trees may have been on public property; others may have been on his. But there are instances in which trees even on private property may be protected. That often involves environmental concerns. It might also come into play in historic districts and areas, where the appearance of the property and surroundings are protected. So, be careful before doing so. If there are such restrictions, they often would be listed in the covenants or other documents you'd receive at closing. So, in this case, the listing agent should be able to address that issue.
If it's your tree, you're responsible for pruning and maintaining it. If the tree belongs to someone else, the owner is responsible. However, as noted above, non-owners do have the ability to do certain pruning and branch removal.
The downside: If it's your tree, maintaining and pruning. A big tree--say 30' tall--could cost in the range of $800-$1,000 to thoroughly prune. Or to cut down. I went through that just a few months ago. Also, if the tree is too close to the house or nearby structures, its root system can do all sorts of damage to a home's foundation. Or they can get into the sewer lines and mess them up. And as the roots grow, they can cause driveways and sidewalks to rise and buckle. One other item: trees have leaves. Lots of them. They mean a lot more leaf raking, and those leaves also get into gutters and can jam them up.
Still, trees are great. I love them. (You'd asked for the downsides, not the benefits!)
Hope that helps.
It will depend on where on the property it is. Is there a sidewalk and then an easement between the sidewalk and the street? If so, it could be on city property and therefore would be the cities responsibility. Unless the tree is deceased or dying, most likely the city will not cut it down just because you don't want it.
The city is responsible for pruning the tree and cleaning anything up such as a large tree branch falling down. Minor branches and such that fall on your yard are usually the home owners responsibility.
Depending on how big the tree is, it could be helpful. A large tree provides shade to the house and can help keep cooling costs down.