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Tree Trimming or Removal

All roadside trees within the public right-of-way are covered under the regulations of the Maryland Roadside Tree Law (PDF) (COMAR Title 5-401). While Baltimore County does not own trees within the right-of-way, they are considered in what is known as a tenant in common relationship, which is a working relationship between the property owner and the government agency.

A person may not cut down, trim, mutilate or in any way injure any roadside tree without a permit or work order issued by Baltimore County or the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Services that Bureau of Highways provides regarding roadside trees:

  • Removal of dead wood (dead, storm damaged or broken limbs).
  • Trimming - removal of limbs blocking streetlights, traffic signals, traffic warning signs and site distance issues at intersections.
  • Elevate limbs blocking public sidewalk or traffic vehicle lanes.
  • Cut down and remove dead trees.
  • Cut down and remove live trees with a valid permit or work order that has been obtained by the property owner.
  • Removal of stumps (grinding).

If you have a tree that you feel needs to be removed, contact the Bureau of Highways at highways@baltimorecountymd.gov or 410-887-3560 to apply for a work order. Baltimore County uses the same criteria as DNR when issuing work orders. The tree must be within the County right-of-way, which will be determined when the work order application is started.

Can't Wait?

Sometimes after severe storms, and during busy seasons, our tree crew may fall behind schedule and residents may have to wait for some time before trees are removed. In such cases residents, at their own expense, may hire a licensed tree company to do the work, provided they have obtained a valid tree-removal permit from the Maryland Forest Service.

Revised October 31, 2013

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