The Catholic University of America

Summary of District of Columbia Laws


The Urban Forest Preservation Act of 2002

DC Code §8-651.07

The D.C. City Council passed legislation in 2002 that mandates that any property owner seeking to cut down a tree with a circumference of more than 55 inches must either pay a $35 fee per inch or plant replacement trees of equal or greater circumference. The Executive Branch has been charged with determining regulations to implement the program.

§ Impact on Universities

This approach was preferred by universities to other alternatives since they are often required by the District's various zoning authorities to plant replacement trees as a condition of most university development projects.

§ Proposed Consortium Action

The Consortium will seek input on the regulation drafting to implement the provisions of the bill.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: DC Department of Transportation in DC Register November 12, 2004

These are the proposed regulations to implement the Act. A special tree removal permit is required prior to removal of a tree with a circumference of 55 inches or more. The new Chapter in DCMR will be Chapter 37, Special Trees. These November NPR added further revisions, which include a person or NGO to remove a hazardous tree without a permit if the tree poses imminent harm or danger to people or property, and to expand locations where replacement trees may be planted.

Final Rulemaking and Tree Removal Application

This DC web page contains the following:

  • Link to Final Rulemaking on the above law (January 2005)
  • Summary of Special Tree Removal and Application Permit Process
  • Special Tree Removal Application

updated 4/23/05 to add final rulemaking and link to DC web page on resources
updated 2/18/08 AAA
links updated 6/6/08 rab
Links updated August 3rd, 2010, FJL.