Monday, February 1, 2010


Under the Urban Forest Preservation Act of 2002 trees with a circumference of 55" or more are designated as Special Trees and given unique protection. The law makes it illegal to cut, remove, girdle, top or destroy a Special Tree without a permit.

To get a permit, individuals must:
  • Prove it is a hazardous tree;
  • Show the tree is a species identified for removal;
  • Pay into the Tree Fund; or,
  • Agree to plant saplings whose aggregate circumference meets or exceeds the Special Tree in question
Removing a large tree can be an expensive endeavour. So what do you do if you have a hazardous Special Tree on your private property? Effective January 1, 2010 new UFPA regulations went into effect to help homeowners mitigate the cost of removing hazardous Special Trees.

To receive financial assistance, a resident must:
  • Own a single-family dwelling in the District
  • Receive a homestead deduction on their property tax bill
  • Have a hazardous tree on the private property that the house is on or on the public parking area abutting the private property
  • Meet the income eligibility requirements of an income-contingent District government assistance program and show proof of enrollment
  • Complete an application for assistance
Within 30 days of the Urban Forest Administration receiving an application an arborist will inspect the Special Tree and make a determination. If the tree is determined to be hazardous it will be removed within 120 days of the date of inspection.

To learn more about the income-contingent program for hazardous Special tree removal, click here.

1 comment:

Caitlin Raschke said...

I'd love a tree preservation/significant tree act like this in New South Wales, Australia. Only One state in Oz has an act like this, South Australia. My town's council is trying to cut down an avenue of native fig trees that are 80 years old. They claim they're dangerous but they're sadly misleading people. Each tree is >55". There's a barbaric element of tree-haters in Australia, mostly away from big cities. Nice posts. Cheers