Tree Ordinances


A tree ordinance establishes authorization and standards for addressing a wide range of issues regarding trees. They should be developed and implemented as part of a broader effort to identify and address a community’s tree-related goals.

State Ordinance Sites

Miscellaneous Tree Ordinances

Canadian Ordinances


Tree Ordinance — This site defines the different categories of tree ordinances. It then takes you through the steps of evaluating the need for a tree ordinance and the steps to create one.

Guidelines for Developing and Evaluating Tree Ordinances — This site provides a variety of tools and resources for citizens and local governments interested in developing, revising, or evaluating local tree ordinances. Rather than using a "model ordinance" approach, they describe how tree ordinance development can be integrated with an overall community tree management program.

Urban Forest Management Plan Toolkit —This site can be used by anyone managing a large population of trees in or near urban areas. The Toolkit website is intended to help urban forest managers develop management plans that are appropriate for their urban forests.


Nature-Friendly Ordinances by James McElfish. Published by Environmental Law Institute.

Urban Tree Conservation: a White Paper on Local Ordinance Approaches — This paper is a discussion of various approaches to conservation of urban forests on private property. It represents a collection of examples from ordinances from cities and counties around the United States, relevant scientific and policy information, and analysis and conclusions.

Developing Successful Tree Ordinances — A white paper.

Tree Ordinance Development Guidebook — Published by the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Connecticut Tree Laws: a compilation of pertinent statutes and regulations for arborists, foresters, tree wardens and others involved with Connecticut’s trees — This is the table of contents for the publication with links to individual statutes.