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Special Tree Permit

Specail Tree Permit - tree-lined downtown street scene

Private property trees between 44 inches and 99.9 inches in circumference are defined as special trees. The removal of a special tree between 44 inches and 99.9 inches in circumference requires a Special Tree Removal Permit.

A healthy tree 100 inches or greater in circumference is considered a heritage tree and can not be removed. Mulberry, Norway Maple and Ailanthus trees are exempt species and do not require mitigation costs for removal; however, a permit is still required. You must apply for a Special Tree Removal Permit Application through the Transportation Online Permit System (TOPS) to proceed with the removal of a private property tree that is considered a special tree. A special tree removal permit application is also required if it is believed that a heritage tree or exempt species are encountered.

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 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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