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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
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Page updated Dec 15, 2014 3:44 PM
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Tree Maintenance

Arborist_PlantingProgram Arborist_RequestMaintenance Arborist_ReportEmergency Arborist_NotableTrees 

Contact us for additional information: 703.746.5499 (After Hour Emergencies: 911 or 703.746.4444) | E-mail


Requesting Tree Maintenance

Citizens may request maintenance for any tree on City property including street trees planted in the right-of-way. A request for service will be created and an Arborist will be assigned to inspect the tree and determine the necessary maintenance. A copy of the inspection report will be left at the door of the residence. Once inspection is complete, the City's tree crew or contracted maintenance crew will be assigned to complete any required maintenance.

If removal of a tree is required, the city can plant a new tree at no cost to the resident. Click here to learn more about the City's Tree Planting Program. 


How do I take care of downed trees or limbs?

The Arborist Office will respond to emergency tree damage when a tree falls from or onto City property. City property includes parks, schools, and right-of-way. The following is a list of typical scenarios that residents experience and who they should call or what they should do if they occur:

Trees and/or limbs down blocking a street

If a public or private tree or branch from a tree falls onto a public street and is impeding traffic, it should be reported to the Alexandria Police Department immediately by calling 911 or the non emergency number 703.746.4444. The police will contact the City Arborist Office to respond to the emergency. The City Arborist Office will respond to determine what actions are required. The first priority will be to open up blocked roads. Depending upon the size of the tree or limb, and if there other streets blocked as a result of a severe weather event, the brush, logs and debris may be moved to the side of the road until the first priorities are completed.

Trees and/or tree limbs on power distribution lines

If a public or private tree or branch from a tree falls onto or into power lines, it should be reported to the Alexandria Police Department immediately by calling 911 or the non emergency number 703.746.4444. The police will contact the Dominion Power and City Arborist Office to respond to the emergency. When electrical are damaged, no work can be done to remove fallen or leaning trees or branches until Dominion Power has made the area safe and can insure that the electrical power to the affected lines has been shut off. During severe weather events, it may take several hours for the power company to respond. Only qualified and specially trained tree trimmers are permitted to work within close proximity to live power lines. I should never be assumed the power has been turned off on a line unless it has been confirmed by Dominion Power.

Trees and/or tree limbs from City trees

Trees and/or tree limbs from City trees that have fallen onto public or private property should be reported to the Alexandria Police Department immediately by calling 911 or the non emergency number 703.746.4444. The police will contact the City Arborist Office to respond to the emergency. The City Arborist Office will determine what actions are required. Trees and tree limbs that are blocking access to private property will be removed by City tree crews or contracted tree services on an emergency basis. Materials that have fallen onto private property but are not impeding access will be removed as soon as possible after all emergencies have been addressed. Response time will depend upon the number of calls received during a severe weather event.

Tree and tree limbs that fall from private property

Tree and tree limbs that fall from private property onto another private property are the responsibility of the property owners and must be disposed of by the property owners. Small limbs less than 2 inches in diameter that are cut to 4 foot lengths may be bundled and set out for City trash pick up. Branches, limbs, tree trunks, firewood and stumps should not be left at the curb or on the street. The City will not pick up or dispose of these materials. Residents who leave brush and debris from private property at the curb that is too large or not properly bundled may be cited by the Code Enforcement Division for illegal dumping.


Notable Trees of Alexandria

Trees are most often recognized for their environmental benefit to the community. They help maintain clean air and water, reduce soil erosion, and can even lower the cost of energy for residential heating and cooling. The mere presence of trees can also make us feel better about living in the city, bring beauty to an otherwise stark setting, and enhance the value of your property. The Notable Tree Program is designed to recognize, preserve and honor the most noteworthy specimens of trees and shrubs growing in Alexandria. Specimens of exceptional size or age, historical connection or ecological importance will be documented and be eligible to be placed on the register of Notable Trees. The Register of Notable Trees is a public document that can be shared and enjoyed by all. In honoring these special trees, we honor not only the past, but also the present and the future. Our hope is that by sharing this information, all residents of the City will better understand the community's stewardship role in preserving both our environment and natural history. 

Participate! If you or your neighbor has an outstanding tree or shrub that you think would qualify for inclusion on the register, nominate it. Or if you know of an outstanding specimen on public property - you may nominate it as well. Nominations that are accepted will receive an honorary certificate and be listed on the public register. Having your private tree listed does not take away any of your personal property rights, but we do hope it would inspire you to take good care of it. 

What are the criteria for a Notable Tree? To be considered noteworthy for listing, a specimen must be of exceptional size for its species, be an old-age specimen with a known historical connection (person, place or event), or have ecological importance as a locally-rare native species. Generally, only native species are accepted for nomination (see nomination form for exceptions). Some Notable Trees may also qualify as a City, State or even National Champion. If nomination is based on size, the tree or shrub will be officially measured by City staff or qualified volunteer using the standards designed by American Forests.  All of Alexandria's current state champion trees are listed on the register of the Virginia Big Tree Program

Where can I find noteworthy trees in the City? The City of Alexandria was once a natural wonder - from rich river floodplains and swamps to virgin bottomland hardwood forest and tidal marsh. In the past 150 years, urban development and population growth has taken its toll in the form of buildings, parking lots and roadways. Fast forward to 2014. Remaining natural forests are confined to small woodlot-sized parcels or long and narrow stream valleys.  Most of our large and historically important trees are now gone.  But if you know where to look, in wooded nooks and crannies, or sometimes hidden in plain view in a front or back yard, they are still out there waiting to be discovered and honored.

The best places search for big trees are along river and stream banks, in cemeteries, church yards, historic properties, and Civil War sites. Good hunting!



1108 Jefferson St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.4343
Fax: 703.838.6344
E-Mail

Office Hours
Monday-Friday
8 am - 5 pm

James B. Spengler
Director
703.746.5500