Tree Permits

Applications and important documents needed for the tree removal permitting process are available below.

Please see the Arborist's page for more details on the permitting process including when and why a Tree Permit is needed.

Tree Impact Assesment

In general, if you are performing the following activities within 50 feet of an Urban Forest Tree, located on your property or on a neighbors land, you will need to submit a Request For Tree Impact Assessment:

  • Regrading three inches or more above or below grade (for example backfill behind a retaining wall)
  • Construction or placement of a structure other than a fence within 50 feet of an urban forest tree
  • Removing and replacing paving or installing new pavement such as sidewalks or driveways
  • Pruning or otherwise altering an urban forest tree (more than 5% of the canopy)

If you are performing these or related activities, contact the City Arborist to discuss whether a site visit and Tree Impact Assessment is required. Specific requirements related to the size of the project and the distance from a tree will affect whether or not these activities require a Tree Protection Plan Agreement. The tree ordinance provides further details in Section 12.12 City Code & Charter link icon of the Takoma Park Municipal Code.

Tree Protection Plan Agreement

Construction or other activities may damage a tree's roots or affect its water supply. To prevent or mitigate these negative effects you may need a Tree Protection Plan Agreement for the following types of activities: excavation, adding fill, construction of a structure, paving.

Once a Tree Protection Plan Application is received and approved by the City Arborist, the City notifies contiguous property owners allowing them 15 days to comment on the application. Only those property owners who share a property line with the applicant are permitted to comment. After the 15 day period has expired, if no comments or objections have been received, the application will be processed and the permit issued. If comments/objections are received, the Arborist will determine if modifications can be made to the plan or if the permit can be issued or should be denied. Please visit the Tree Permit Public Comments page to view posted permits:

If a Tree Protection Plan Agreement is required, perhaps because the proposed construction may affect a neighbor's tree, you will be required to submit a Tree Protection Plan Agreement with the application form. On certain projects you may need to post a bond as well. The bond amount is the estimated cost of removal of the neighbor's tree(s) and the fair replacement costs. The bond must be secured for two years. The City Arborist determines if the critical root zone is affected and the amount of the bond.

Tree Removal

Whenever an Urban Forest Tree, a tree with a diameter greater than 7 5/8 inches at 4½ feet above ground, is to be removed, a Tree Removal Application is required. If the tree is dead or hazardous no replacement plantings will be required, and a waiver will be issued. If the tree is alive the Arborist determines the value of the tree (according to guidelines outlined in City Code). The size of the tree removed determines the number of replacement trees that will be required. There is a 15 day comment period and the property owner must agree to plant replacements or pay a fee before the permit will be issued.

Preplanting Credit Registration Application

To request credit for planting a tree prior to a tree removal request, a property owner must complete the Preplanting Credit Registration application. In order to qualify for credit, the preplanted tree must be a minimum size of 1 1/2 inch calliper, purchased from a nursery and registered within 90 days of purchase. The registration form requires identification of tree type and planting location, and copy of purchase receipt.

Tree Permit Fees

  • $50.00 Request For Tree Impact Assessment
  • $100.00 Tree Protection Plan Agreement*
  • $25.00 Tree Removal Application - Waiver Fee
  • $50.00 Tree Removal Application - Permit Fee

*NOTE: Some Tree Protection Plans may require bonds. The bond amount is the estimated cost of removal of the neighbor's tree(s) and the fair replacement costs. The bond must be secured for two years.

City Code & Charter link icon The online Charter and Code are published on the Code Publishing Company website. The City Clerk's Office has the official version of the Takoma Park Municipal Charter and Code. Users should contact the City Clerk's Office for ordinances passed subsequent to the ordinance cited on the Code Publishing Company website.