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Tree Maintenance is performed by the Department of Transportation's Division of Highway Services under a permit granted by the Maryland State Forester's Office. Under the Maryland Roadside Tree Law, all trees growing on a publicly maintained right of way are considered part of the State Forest and are maintained by the local government agency. All activities, such as pruning, removal, insect and disease control, planting, root cutting, etc., are completed by the Tree Maintenance Section of the Division of Highway Services, which may be contacted at 311.


Montgomery County plants approximately 1800 trees per year to replace trees that have been removed from the public right-of-way. Trees are replaced by the County on a request basis. If you desire a tree, you should contact the Division of Highway Services at 311 for a County Arborist to inspect the property for appropriate species and location.


Acceptable major trees shall be 8' to 12' tall and have a minimum trunk caliper of 1 3/4" - 2" as measured 6" above ground level. They shall be branched at a point approximately 60% of the total height of the tree above ground. Larger sizes are acceptable but must conform to American Standards for nursery stock.


Acceptable minor trees shall be a minimum of 8' - 10' tall and have a minimum caliper of 1" - 1 1/2" measured 6" above ground level. Remaining description is the same as for major trees.



Scientific Name Common Name   Height Width
Betula nigra River Birch (single stem) 40’-50’ 40’-50’
Carpinus betulus European Hornbeam 40’-60’ 30’-40’
Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata' European Hornbeam (upright form) 35’-40’ 20’-30’
Celtis occidentalis Hackberry 40’-50’ 40’-50’
Cladasris lutea* Yellowwood 30’-50’ 40’-50’
Fagus grandifolia American Beech 50'-90' 50'-75'
Fagus sylvatica European Beech 50’-75’ 40’-60’
Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo (male, fruitless) 50’-80’ 40’-80’
Gleditsia triacanthos Honeylocust, thornless 50’-70’ 35’-50’
Gymnocladus dioicus Kentucky Coffeetree (male, seedless) 60'-75' 40'-50'
Liquidambar styraciflua Sweetgum (fruitless) 65’-75’ 40’-50’
Nyssa sylvatica Blackgum 40’-70’ 35’-45’
Platanus x acerifolia London Planetree 70’-80’ 55’-65’
Quercus alba White Oak 60'-80' 60'-80'
Quercus lyrata Overcup Oak 45'-55' 45'-55'
Quercus bicolor Swamp White Oak 60’-80’ 50’-80’
Quercus macrocarpa Bur Oak 70'-80' 70'-85'
Quercus robur English Oak 70'-80' 75'-85'
Quercus rubra Northern Red Oak 60’-80’ 45’-60’
Quercus phellos Willow Oak 60’-75’ 40’-60’
Sophora japonica Japanese Pagoda Tree 40’-70’ 30’-40’
Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress 50'-70' 30'-35'
Tilia tomentosa Silver Linden 50’-60’ 50’-60’
Ulmus americana "Valley Forge" American Elm 60'-80' 30'-50'
Ulmus parvifolia Lacebark Elm 40’-45’ 45’-50’
Zelkova serrata ‘Village Green' Village Green Zelkova 50’-60’ 50’-60’

* denotes a flowering tree
Other species are considered by request.


Acer campestre Hedge Maple 30’-35’ 30’-35’
Acer ginnala Amur Maple 15’-20’ 15’-25
Acer griseum Paperbark Maple 20’-30’ 15’-25’
Amelanchier laevis* Allegheny Serviceberry 30’-40’ 15’-20’
Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam 20’-40’ 20’-30’
Cercis canadensis* “Redbud Texas White” 20’-30’ 15’-30’
Cercis Canadensis* Eastern Redbud 20’-30’ 15’-30’
Chionanthus virginicus* Fringetree (tree form) 12’-20’ 12’-20’
Cornus florida * White Flowering Dogwood 20’-30’ 20’-30’
Cornus florida ‘rubra’* Pink Flowering Dogwood 20’-30’ 20’-30’
Cornus kousa* Kousa Dogwood 15’-20’ 15’-20’
Crataegus crusgalli ‘inermis'* Cockspur Hawthorn, thornless 25’-30’ 25’-35
Craetaegus virdis Green Hawthorn 20’-35’ 20’-35’
Koelruteria paniculata* Goldenraintree 30’-40’ 30’-40’
Malus x* Flowering Crabapple 20’-25’ 15’-20’
Ostrya virginiana Ironwood 25'-40' 20'-30'
Parriotia persica Persian Parrotia 20'-40' 15'-30'
Prunus x incamp 'Okame'* Okame Cherry 15-‘25’ 15-‘20’
Quercus myrsinifolia Chinese Evergreen Oak 30’-35’ 30’-35’
Styrax japonicus* Japanese Snowbell 20’-30’ 15’-25’
Syringia reticulate* Japanese lilac 20’-25’ 15’-20’

* denotes a flowering tree
Other species are considered by request.

Montgomery County Design Standards set the guidelines for trees planted on the right of way, as well as the spacing between trees and other features commonly found on the public right of way. Design standards were set by Division of Transportation Engineering.


'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).

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.


Trees are removed for a number of reasons including death of the tree, structural defect, declining health, etc. Requests to remove a tree from the public right of way should be made to the Division of Highway Services. Requests are inspected by County Arborists to determine if the tree should be removed and the priority it should receive. Occasionally, trees that require removal have power lines in close proximity to parts of the tree. In this case, the removal of the tree must be coordinated with the appropriate utility, which can add to the length of time required to effect the removal of the tree.


Upon removal of a tree, the location of the stump, if any, is noted in our tree management system for future "removal". Removal consists of the mechanical grinding of the stump and those exposed roots radiating from the stump out to where the roots first enter the ground. The stump and roots are ground to a depth of 6" below the surrounding ground level. The wood chips are removed and the hole filled with a topsoil mixture and the surface seeded with grass. The dirt is left mounded slightly to allow for settlement as the remaining underground portions of the stump rot. It is helpful for the establishment of the grass to water the seeded area until the grass is established.



For any MCDOT service request or complaint, call 311
When dialing outside of the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via their website.

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Highway Services · Montgomery County Department of Transportation
Questions/Comments · Inside Montgomery County dial 311 · TTY: 240-773-3556
Outside Montgomery County dial 240-777-0311