The Takoma Park Tree Commission was established “to preserve, protect and promote the urban forest of Takoma Park" and to hear appeals from tree permit decisions.
The Tree Commission has three main functions:
- Advisory: The Tree Commission, with the assistance of the Arborist, proposes rules, regulations, procedures and actions to be taken by the City to preserve and protect the urban forest, subject to the approval of the Council, and performs any other related duties assigned by the Council by ordinance or resolution. (See Chapter 2.16, Section 2.16.040 of the Takoma Park Code.)
- Judicial: to hear appeals from tree permit decisions, either from residents who have been denied a permit from the City to remove a tree or develop property around trees, or from neighbors who may object to the removal of a tree that has been given preliminary approval from the City Arborist.
- Education: to promote the aesthetic and environmental value of preserving tree canopy in the City, to encourage the preservation of trees wherever possible in the process of developing property, and to promote the planting of new trees to replace existing canopy.
For information on the activities of the Commission, please click on the following links:
- Tree Stewardship (PDF)
- Tree Care Checklist (PDF)
- Importance of Tree Canopy (PDF)
- National Tree Benefit Calculator
Tree Canopy Report (PDF)
- The City contracted with The University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Laboratory to perform an assessment of the extent and location of the existing urban forest canopy in the City of Takoma Park. The resulting report includes tree canopy coverage data at the parcel layer detail.
- Tree Commission Position Statement on Solar Panels (September 2010) (PDF)
Takoma Park Tree Ordinance
In order to promote and protect our urban forest, the City Council adopted a Tree Ordinance (Title 12 of the City Code) and employs an arborist to enforce the ordinance and manage the trees on public lands.
An Urban Forest Tree is defined as one that is at least 7 5/8 inches in diameter at four and one half feet above ground. In the Historic District, trees 6 inches in diameter are considered Urban Forest Trees. Unless the tree was planted as a replacement tree, trees smaller than these sizes are not covered by the ordinance. If you wish to remove a tree on your property or prune to remove more than 5% of live wood, or if you are planning to do construction or re-grading within 50 feet of a tree on your property or a neighbor’s, you should contact the City Arborist, Todd Bolton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-891-7612.
For more information on the requirements of the Tree Ordinance, see the Arborist's page.
The Tree Commission is composed of five members appointed by the City Council. Each member serves a three-year term, ending September 30, and may apply for re-appointment to another term. Any interested resident of Takoma Park may apply to become a Tree Commissioner. Current Commission members are:
- Jerry Burgess
- Colleen Cordes
- Carol Hotton
- Gresham Lowe
- Denny May
The Tree Commission meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm, in the Takoma Park Community Center (7500 Maple Avenue). The meetings (and hearings) are open to the public.
For more information, please contact the Commission at email@example.com.