I would like to cut down a tree on my property. Do I need and permit?
Yes, you need a permit and permission from the County. However, you first need to call CountyClick 311. If the tree is in the County road right-of-way, you also need a Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) roadside tree permit. No tree in the public right-of-way can be removed without DPW&T approval, since the trees in the public right-of-way are maintained by DPW&T. Once CountyClick 311 receives your request, a person from DPW&T’s Office of Highway Maintenance will contact you. The County public right-of-way trees are governed by The Maryland Roadside Tree Law, administered by the DNR – Forest Service. It is unlawful for private property owners to cut down public County trees within the right-of-way, unless the person removing a tree has obtained a Roadside Tree Removal Permit from DNR – Forest Service. If the tree is in the public road right-of-way in a municipality or a state highway, you need to contact the municipality or the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) to determine their requirements regarding tree removal.
If the tree is on your property, it depends on how many trees you are removing. Generally, removing one tree does not require a permit. However, contact the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Environmental Planning Section, at 301-952-3650 for guidance regarding tree removal and tree conservation approvals. For detailed guidance on this topic, please go to the following M-NCPPC website for more information. If you live in a municipality, you also need to contact the municipality to determine the municipality’s requirements regarding tree removal.
If you are clearing more than 5,000 square feet of trees, you need a grading permit. Contact DPIE Site/Road Plan Review Division at 301-636-2060 for the District Engineer for a specific area regarding the process for a grading permit.