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Special Tree Permit

Specail Tree Permit - tree-lined downtown street scene

The removal of public or private property trees at least 55 inches in circumference, which is equivalent to 17.51 inches in diameter, requires a Special Tree Removal Permit.

You must apply for a Special Tree Removal Permit Application through the Transportation Online Permit System (TOPS) to proceed with the removal of a tree or trees that exceed 55” circumference on private property. Please follow the instruction for How to Obtain a Special Tree Permit.

It is at the discretion of the contractor or homeowner to file a public space permit. Public Space is defined as all the publicly owned property between the property lines on a street and includes, but is not limited to, the roadway, tree spaces, sidewalks and alleys. Please refer to DCMR Title 24 for laws governing use of Public Space.

This permitting service will provide numerous environmental benefits to the city, including:

  • Heat island effect mitigation and reduced energy use
  • Better air quality and reduced water pollution
  • Quieter and more beautiful neighborhoods

Special Tree Removals and Fund Plantings


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Service Need

The Urban Forest Preservation Act of 2002 requires permits for the removal or replacement of Special Trees (which are over 55 inches in circumference), and establishes a Tree Fund to plant trees and defray costs associated with this act.

Service at a Glance

Provided By: DDOT
Phone: (202) 671-5133
Location: 55 M Street, SE, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20003

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