Tree ordinance

Originally adopted in 1978, the tree ordinance protects trees in the public right of way and those on private property as they relate to development. The ordinance also requires tree-planting with new construction.

The City of Charlotte adopted Tree Ordinance, City Code Chapter 21, is available for review online. Various interpretations and guidelines are also available for information on sections of the ordinance on the Tree Ordinance Guidelines page.


  • The Land Development Urban Forestry staff oversees tree protection and planting of trees on commercial properties and in new residential subdivisions since March 19, 2002.  Urban forestry specialists on staff conduct plan review/approval and inspection.  Click on Land Dev​elopment Inspections/Project Area Territory Map for their areas and phone numbers.

  • The City Arborist oversees protection, planting, and maintenance of trees on public property and street trees in the public right-of-way. Permits are required to plant or remove any trees in the right-of-way. When there is a concern about a city street tree, a call can be placed to Landscape Management at ​704.336.4262 for inspection. 

The Charlotte Tree Advisory Commission, on behalf of The Mayor and City Council, an​nually presents Charlotte's Crown Tree Awards in four different categories. These awards recognize excellence in tree preservation, tree planting, and tree advisory.  To be eligible, the site must have been complete for one year.

​Charlotte Urban Forestry - Tree Planting and Preservation Requirements - Standard Notes
(updated 10/10/16)​

​A PDF-format list of standard notes regarding Plant Material, ​​Planting Requirements, Utility Issues, and Tree Save and Protection for use on Land Development plans is available Charlotte Urban Forestry - Tree Planting and Preservation Requirements.