TREE PRUNING                

Roadside Tree Protection Law

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. The Tree Maintenance Section prunes over 10,000 trees in the right-of-way every year.

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.

If you feel that a tree growing on a County maintained right-of-way is in need of pruning, please request an inspection online using the link below or by calling the County’s 311 call center by dialing 3-1-1 (inside Montgomery County) or (240) 777-0311 (outside of Montgomery County).

Request to Prune County Tree online

Current wait for tree pruning is approximately 9-12 months

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. Montgomery County does not prune trees for utility line clearance. Questions regarding this type of trimming should be directed to the appropriate utility company.

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).

UPDATED: November 29, 2017