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Tree Permits

The City of Takoma Park requires a permit when individuals seek to remove a tree or perform work that impacts a tree within the boundaries of Takoma Park.

A Tree Removal Permit is required to remove an urban forest tree in Takoma Park. Tree Removal Permits are granted through the Tree Removal Application process. NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!

Before performing any activity that may impact a tree or tree roots, a Tree Impact Assessment is required. Based on the assessment outcome, you may be required to apply for a Tree Protection Plan.

 A Tree Impact Assessment is also required before performing pruning of more than 10% of live branches on an urban forest tree.

Please see this page’s individual sections for details on when a Tree Impact Assessment, Tree Protection Plan Agreement, or Tree Removal Permit are needed.

About the Urban Forest

Adapted from Takoma Park Municipal Code 12.12.020:

An urban forest tree is a tree in the City which:

  1. Measures 24 inches or more in circumference at four and one-half feet above ground level, also known as diameter at breast height (DBH), measures seven and five-eighths inches or more at DBH*; or
  2. Is required to be planted or maintained, pursuant to governmental order, agreement, stipulation, covenant, easement, or a tree protection plan, or as a condition of issuance of a tree permit; or
  3. Is planted with government funding or under a government program. (Ord. 2003-40 (part), 2004)

*NOTE: The City of Portland, Oregon has a “How To Measure a Tree” page explaining the term and process of measuring a tree.

The urban forest includes trees on private property. For more details review  Section 12.12 of the Takoma Park Municipal Code in its entirety.

Tree Permit Fees

  • 50.00 permit fee  Tree Removal Application (for trees with living branches and leaves)
  • $25.00 permit fee –Tree Removal Application (for trees that are dead)
  • $50.00 Request For Tree Impact Assessment
  • $50.00 Tree Protection Plan

Tree Permit Staff Contact

Marty Frye
Urban Forest Manager
Phone: 301-891-7612

Tree Removal Application

Online:  Tree Removal Application You can now apply and pay online through the MyTKPK system

Download: Tree Removal Application (PDF)

Whenever an urban forest tree (a tree with a diameter greater than 7 ⅝ inches at 4.5 feet above ground) is to be removed, a Tree Removal Permit application is required. If the tree is dead, the application fee is $25.00 fee. If the tree is alive, application fee is $50.00. Once the application is received  the Arborist evaluates the tree condition and size. The size of the tree and the health determines the number of replacement trees that will be required. The intention of the replacement requirement is to provide the same canopy in 25 years as the tree to be removed currently provides. If the permit is approved, there is a 15 day comment period. The property owner must return a Tree Replacement Agreement or pay a fee in lieu before the permit can be issued.

If an application includes a request to remove more than 10 trees, the applicant must comply with a city code requirement that a community meeting be conducted to present information to the public regarding the proposed tree removal.  Follow this link to the city code to read more about that requirement: Code Section 12.12.080

The City offers assistance for tree removal of dead or hazardous trees for low- and moderate-income residents (85% of the median income for Montgomery County.  The Emergency Tree Fund Criteria and Homeowners Application can be found here:

Appeal Process

The City Code establishes an appeals process Takoma Park Municipal Code 12.12.110

The following decisions can be appealed:

  • Anyone can appeal a Preliminary Tree Removal Approval within the 15 Day Posting Period
  • The applicant can appeal the City’s Denial of Tree Removal
  • An adjoining property owner can appeal a Preliminary Tree Protection Plan Approval within 15 days of notice

The following decisions are not eligible for appeal:

  • The number of trees required for replanting
  • A determination that a tree is dead or hazardous.

Appeals are heard by the Tree Commission, which is made up of community members selected by the City Council. The hearing is quasi-judicial in nature. The City Attorney communicates the commissions’ decision within 30 days of the hearing. An Appellant can take the matter to Circuit Court and file a judicial review petition within 30 days of the Tree Commission’s decision.


Tree Impact Assessment and Tree Protection Plan Permit

Construction, landscaping and tree pruning can all cause damage to the health and structure of nearby trees.  You may need to apply for a Tree Impact Assessment and a Tree Protection Plan Permit if you are planning to conduct this sort of work.  Please follow this link to read more about the updated process for applying: Tree Impact Assessment and Tree Protection Plan Permit

Approved Species List

Download: Takoma Park Approved Tree Species List  (PDF)

Updated-January 22, 2021

The Public Works Department is excited to announce the completion of a new and improved ‘Approved Tree Species List’ to guide tree-planting efforts in the City. The primary function of the list is to specify which trees are approved for planting by the City and for replacement plantings required for a resident to receive Tree Removal Permits. We also hope that this list can serve as a resource for all residents interested in planting trees.

The list documents a broad selection of tree species native to Maryland and some found more broadly in the Eastern United States that are well-suited for planting in Takoma Park. With this list, we hope that residents will become more aware of native species options suited for a variety of planting sites and design goals. If your site is wet or dry, shady or sunny, and your design goals are to provide shade, privacy, flowers, food, or wildlife benefits, then the list should have a tree for you. To read the full article Click here.

Below are a few examples of trees that have been approved including their scientific name:

  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
  • Yellow Buckeye (Aesculus flava)
  • Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
  • White Oak (Quercus alba)
  • Sweet Birch (Betula lenta)
  • American Holly (Ilex opaca)
  • Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica)
  • Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
  • Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
  • American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)

To view the full approved species list please Click here.



Current Tree Removal Applications

All removal applications granted preliminary approval must be posted for a period of 15 days to allow for public comment. Current pending applications are listed below. Any resident of Takoma Park may appeal a preliminary approval during the posting period. If no appeal is received during the posting period, a tree removal permit will be issued. If an appeal is received, the matter will be scheduled for a Tree Commission hearing. If you would like to appeal a preliminary approval listed below please provide a written request  to the Arborist before the end of the posting period:

Tree Removal Application Staff Contact

Marty Frye
Urban Forest Manager
Phone: 301-891-7612

Pending Tree Removal Applications (chart does not include approved waivers)

AddressNumber of TreesAppeal Process EndsDiameter*Tree LocationTree Type
1015 Elm Avenue12021-04-0612.7"right sideAmerican Elm
609 Elm Avenue22021-04-1719.2", 23.1"front left, front rightother, other
7109 Woodland Avenue12021-04-2711"left sideBlack Cherry
7318 Baltimore Avenue12021-05-0113.3"back centerAmerican Holly
7717 Garland Avenue12021-05-0110.6"front rightColorado Spruce
102 Ritchie Avenue12021-05-0117"front leftWillow
36 Columbia Avenue12021-05-1312"front leftRed Cedar
105 Elm Avenue12021-05-158.6"back rightChestnut Oak
7610 Wildwood Drive12021-05-2120"back centerRed Maple
*Diameter at breast height.

Table: Pending Tree Removal Appeals. This table is maintained by Ian Chamberlain, Construction Manager. (

Pending Tree Appeals

AddressNumber of TreesType of AppealDiameter*Tree TypeTree LocationHearing Date / LocationTree Commission Ruling
7600 Takoma Avenue56Tree Removal Preliminary Approvalvariousvarious7600 Takoma AvenueAugust 12, 6:45 pm
REMOTE meeting held on web (Zoom)
Contact for meeting link
9/10/20 - Tree Commission upheld the issuance of the tree removal permit for 56 trees
430 - 434 Ethan Allen Avenue12Tree Removal Preliminary approvalvariousvarious430 Ethan Allen AvenueDecember 15, 6:30 pm REMOTE meeting held on web (Zoom)
Contact for meeting link
1/14/21 - The Commission upheld the issuance of the Tree Removal Permit and the Tree Protection Plan Permit under the condition that the applicant obtain prior approval of their stormwater management permit and the requirement of an $18,000 bond for tree planting, to be released one year after replacement planting to guarantee planted trees are in good health.

Case No: 2020-02
430 - 434 Ethan Allen Avenue12Tree Protection Planvariousvarious434 Ethan Allen AvenueDecember 15, 6:30 pm REMOTE meeting held on web (Zoom)
Contact for meeting link
1/14/21 - The Commission upheld the issuance of the Tree Protection Plan Permit

Case No: 2020-02
*Diameter at breast height.

Table: Pending Tree Removal Appeals. This table is maintained by Ian Chamberlain, Construction Manager. (

Need Help?

Please direct your questions and concerns related to tree permits to:

Marty Frye

Urban Forest Manager

Public Works

Tree Permits Sections


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