Protecting Our Tree Canopy

Trees are a vital part of our ecosystem. The City’s 2018 Tree Canopy Assessment revealed that the urban tree canopy is under threat. The report showed that the City’s tree canopy has declined from 44% in 2009 to 38% in 2018 and that the losses appear largely due to either construction or individual tree removal.

The City has already begun working with developers and organizations to stem the loss from construction or projects through replacement trees and other methods. A majority of the City’s tree canopy is on residential land or in Right of Way (R-O-W) residential areas­­­­--this means our residents can make a big difference in helping our tree canopy!

On May 10, 2022, the City Council approved Ordinance 21-O-09, which will require a permit to remove trees on residential land beginning July 1, 2022. The ordinance was enacted to limit the removal of healthy, mature trees as a measure to maintain the City’s tree canopy. The Tree and Landscape Board and City Council held numerous public meetings and incorporated changes to address many concerns and suggestions from residents.

Residents, property owners, and tree and landscape companies may have many questions about this new permitting process.

Have further questions? Email us at

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Where can I find a copy of the ordinance? You can download a copy of the ordinance here.
  • When does the ordinance go into effect? July 1, 2022.
  • Is there an application fee to obtain a permit? No, but residents will need to submit a completed application, found on the City website or at City offices, and have it approved before any work can begin.
  • How do I apply for a tree permit? Applications will be made available on July 1, 2022. If you need a printed copy, please visit the Department of Public Works during business hours. Before any work can begin, residents must submit and have approved a completed application.
  • If a tree is causing imminent danger, can I have the tree removed or pruned without first getting a permit? In the event of an emergency, you are able to remove or prune trees on your property to rectify a dangerous situation caused by the tree. Prior to performing any tree work, you must document the nature of the emergency and danger created by the tree, and send the photos and related documentation to the City’s Department of Public Works and Department of Public Service’s Code Enforcement Division.

For a full list of FAQs, please click here.