Passed in 1914, this Law and its regulations were developed to protect our roadside trees by ensuring their proper care and protection and to ensure their compatibility with an efficient and dependable public utility system.
Millions of trees grow along the more than 30,000 miles of improved roads in Maryland. The trees growing along our roadways and in our communities are an important urban and community resource. They provide aesthetic, environmental, economic, and social benefits.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service protects trees along our public road rights-of way through enforcement of the Roadside Tree Law.
Before Trimming or Removing a Roadside Tree
Before a roadside tree is trimmed or cared for in any way, a Tree Care Permit must be obtained from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. A roadside tree is any tree that grows all or in part within a public road right-of-way. A permit is also needed to plant a tree within the public road right-of-way.
Any work (including the removal of a tree having a permit) performed on a street tree must be done by a Licensed Tree Care Expert.
When tree care is performed on a roadside tree without a permit, a fine may be assessed or more severe actions taken by the Department of Natural Resources.