Did you know that DC has a Tree Act? While it does not look like the crafty origami creation above, the District has had a Tree Act on the books since 2002 to protect the District's Urban Tree Canopy (UTC).
Officially named the Urban Forest Preservation Act, the Tree Act protects all trees with a circumference of 55 inches (17.5 inches in diameter) or more by designating them as Special Trees. The designation requires individuals to obtain a permit to cut down, remove, girdle, break, top or destroy any tree of this size or greater on public or private property.
If someone does any of the aforementioned without a permit, they are subject to a fine of not less than a $100 per inch of circumference. More simply put, they will have to pay a minimum fine of $5,500. Not cheap.
Individuals can obtain a permit to remove a Special Tree if the tree is:
- Hazardous- An ISA certified arborist or UFA arborist must determine that it is.
- Appropriate for removal - Must be identified so by regulation. Trees that may be removed are Tree of Heaven, Mulberry and Norway Maples.
- Pay into the Tree Fund - must be equal to $35.00 for each inch of circumference.
- Plant more trees - Quantity of replacement saplings aggregate circumference must equal or exceed the circumference of the Special Tree to be removed.
To learn more about the Tree Act or to request a permit to remove a Special Tree, visit the DC UFA website.