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Highway Services         

TREE PRUNING                


Roadside Tree Protection Law

Street trees are pruned on a yearly cycle, although newer trees may require more frequent elevating along sidewalks. In general, trees are trimmed to remove dead wood, diseased branches, structural defects and to train the growth of young trees. Trees are also trimmed to maintain adequate clearance for vehicles and pedestrians generally 12' to 14' over the road and 8' over the sidewalk. Branches obscuring traffic signals stop signs and other traffic control devices are also removed. Our goal is to trim trees to maintain them and, if possible, to improve their health and appearance.

Trees are also trimmed by the various utility companies, most commonly PEPCO, to minimize problems caused by branches rubbing on energized lines. This activity is not regulated by Montgomery County. Questions regarding this type of trimming should be directed to the appropriate utility company. If you feel that a tree growing on a County maintained roadway is in need of pruning, contact the Division of Highway Services at 311 to request an inspection.

If you feel that a tree growing on a State maintained road (a numbered road such as MD 97, Georgia Avenue,) needs attention, you should contact the Maryland State Highway Administration field office at 301-948-2477 (Gaithersburg Shop) or 301-572-5166 (Fairland Shop).

Request to Prune County Tree online

Upon receipt of a request to trim a tree, an inspection order is generated. Unless an emergency situation is indicated, inspection of the request occurs the next time a County Arborist does routine inspection in the neighborhood. Upon inspection, the work needed, if any, is prioritized based on its severity. Work that has the greatest potential to adversely affect public safety receives the highest priority. Work orders are created following inspection, with those work orders having the highest priority being assigned to crews first.


Highway Services · Montgomery County Department of Transportation · 240-777-7623 · Fax: 240-777-7670 · 100 Edison Park Dr · 4th Floor · Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 ·
For any MCDOT service requests, call 311. Outside the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via the website.   For website issues, broken links or comments, please email us(does not handle service requests).
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