The Roadside Tree Law and its regulations were developed to protect Maryland's roadside trees by ensuring their proper care and protection and to ensure their compatibility with the public utility system. Before a roadside tree is trimmed or cared for in any way including removed, a Tree Care Permit must be obtained from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Service. A roadside tree is any tree that grows all or in part within a public road right-of-way. A permit is also needed to plant a tree within the public road right-of-way.
Any work (including removals) performed on a roadside tree, 20 feet or greater in height, must be done by a licensed tree expert. If tree care or removal is performed on a roadside tree without a permit, a fine or more severe actions may be assessed by the Maryland DNR Forest Service.
Montgomery County may not issue a building permit to an applicant for any clearing, construction, or development that will result in the trimming, cutting, removal, or injury, including to the critical root zone of a roadside tree until the applicant first obtains a permit from the Department in accordance with this section. All permit applicants performing exterior work must submit a signed Roadside Tree Affidavit as part of their permit packet.