A Guide to North Carolina Tree Ordinance

Having trees in your community provides lots of benefits, but trees need maintenance to thrive. Tree ordinances govern tree care and preservation. 

With all the recent legislation about the North Carolina tree ordinance, it can be confusing to figure out what rules to follow in regard to tree care and arborist services. This guide will help you figure out the ordinance for your area!

How Tree Ordinances Work in North Carolina

Currently, there is no North Carolina tree ordinance for the whole state. Local governments at the county, city, and town levels have the freedom to make their own tree ordinances. 

Many local tree protection ordinances in NC are included in larger landscaping ordinances. These rules describe how the city and its inhabitants should protect and maintain plants and other landscaping features. 

Tree ordinances don’t impact vegetation on your private property. However, trees on a parking strip in front of your home or business or within certain buffer zones or easements are covered by ordinances. 

There can be exceptions to this rule. If there is a tree on your property with specific historical value or cultural significance, it may be protected by your local ordinances. 

What Does a North Carolina Tree Ordinance Cover?

The goal of a tree ordinance is to protect community forests and trees and preserve trees with endangered or protected status. To that end, most ordinances specify what kind of tree service is allowed. 

Typically, local ordinances cover planting, tree removal, and tree trimming. Improper maintenance techniques can harm trees and eventually kill them. Ordinances control what techniques are allowed and which trees can be removed. 

Why Are Tree Ordinances Important?

Why do towns go to such great lengths to make rules about trees? Well, having a healthy local tree population is beneficial to the community in many ways. Healthy trees are a beautiful part of the landscape, but they’re also a vital part of the ecosystem.

A single healthy tree cools down its immediate surroundings at the same rate as 10 room-sized air conditioners running for 20 hours. That same tree can store hundreds of pounds of CO2 and filter chemicals and sediments out of local groundwater with its root system.

Protecting your community’s trees is the best way to protect your community’s ecosystem. It will improve air and water quality and combat climate change. Like many plants, trees have trouble flourishing on their own in today’s environments. A skilled arborist working within city guidelines is the best way to keep the trees in a community healthy and happy.

North Carolina Tree Ordinance Experts

If you’re still confused about the North Carolina tree ordinance, don’t worry! We are North Carolina tree experts, and we can help you with trimming, removal, and maintenance that follows your local guidelines. 

Contact us today for more information or a free estimate for your tree care needs. Together, we can keep your neighborhood trees healthy. 


Frady Tree Care has the most reliable and professional tree services in the Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons & High Point, NC areas! Our team is a third-generation certified and fully-insured arboriculture firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we are the tree service experts you can trust.


Charlotte Office

8640 Charlotte University City Blvd.  Suite A3-241        Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Lexington Office

402 W. 4th Avenue,    Lexington, NC 27292
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Salisbury Office

1460 Henderson Grove Church Rd,
Salisbury, NC 28147
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Winston-Salem Office

1035 Shalimar Drive.      Winston-Salem, NC 27107
Phone : (336) 236-1006

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