Tree Management

Tree Management

The Tree City, USA. program was set up to encourage the planting and care of trees and shrubs throughout urban areas of the United States. The City of Laurel has been involved with this program for many years. Participation in Tree City, USA. represents a strong community commitment to the management of trees and other natural resources. The Tree City, USA. program helps residents learn what they can do to make their community a better place in which to live.

What is a City Street Tree?

Street Trees are those planted in the easement adjacent to a city street (also called the "right of way"). While these trees may grow in property owned by the homeowner the tree itself is owned and maintained by the City.  Residents should not prune or remove a city street tree.  Any problems encountered with a street tree should be reported to the Department of Public Works to address. Other trees a resident may encounter include:

Private Trees: Private trees are those that grow on an individual's private property. Not every tree next to a road is a city street tree.  Some Homeowner's Associations have trees located in "common areas" along private roads that are maintained by the HOA. Problems with private trees should be reported to Code Enforcement.

Parkland Trees: Trees that grow in City Parks are maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreations and privately owned trees on private property.  


The Department of Public Works is committed to planting trees in the public right-of-way twice a year during the fall and spring seasons. Property owners may request to have trees planted in front of their homes by Public Works. The type of trees planted by Public Works is listed below. Trees are sorted into three categories: Small, Medium, and Large. Not all trees are appropriate for the fronts of all properties. The City will attempt to accommodate the tree preferences of our residents to the best of our ability. To place a request for a street tree or if you have questions please email Public Works or call us at 301-725-0088.

Small Trees

Tree TypeBotanical NameLeaf / Flower
Japanese LilacSyringa ReticulataWhite / Pink Flower
Kousa DogwoodCornus KousaWhite Flower
Oriental CherryPrunus SerrulataPink Flower
Eastern RedbudCercis CanadensisPurple Flower
Magnolia HybridMagnolida Lillifora x SprengeriPink Flower
Amur MapleAcer GinnalaRed Leaf

Medium Trees

Tree TypeBotanical NameLeaf / Flower
Red HorsechestnutAesculus x CarneaPink Flower
Sargent CherryPrunus SargentiiPink Flower
Kwanzan CherryN/APink Flower

Large Trees

Tree TypeBotanical NameLeaf / Flower
Japanese Zelcova
Zelcova Serrata
Green Leaf
Northern Red Oak
Quercus Rubra
Red Leaf
London Plane
Plantus x Acerifolia
Green Leaf
Tulip Poplar
Liriodendron Tulipifera
Yellow Flower
Little Leaf Linden
Tilita Cordata
Green Leaf

Special Programs

The City is willing to participate with homeowners, developers and associations in special cooperative tree-planting programs. With enough interest, trees may be obtained for such projects at especially low prices. Please call us for more information.

Maintenance of Private Trees

You must keep all privately owned hedges, shrubs and trees trimmed to prevent the blocking of any sidewalk. Residents are not allowed to prune City-owned street trees and should call Public Works if they are concerned about over-growth from a street tree. Also, if you live on a corner, please try to avoid causing traffic visibility problems in selecting planting locations and by keeping hedges and shrubs properly trimmed.

Three Simple Guidelines

  1. Tree limbs should be pruned 7 feet above the sidewalk.
  2. Tree limbs, shrubs and bushes should be kept back at least one foot behind either the sidewalk or curb if no sidewalk is present.
  3. Tree limbs and shrubs should not obstruct any traffic control devices like signs or signals, street lights or the view of traffic at any intersection.

Proper Pruning Principles

Tree Removal

The City hires contractors to remove diseased trees, dead trees, and low-hanging hazardous limbs in the City right-of-way. Such work is subject to State Permit requirements. Please call us to report any dangerous trees. Property owners are responsible for tree maintenance and removal of trees on their property. Please call Public Works if you need assistance or information.

Tree Removal

Questions or Comments

If you need any additional information or have any questions or comments, please call us at 301-725-0088 or you may email Public Works.