Commonly Asked Questions

Charlotte has an estimated 200,000 street trees, and a significant percentage of them are willow oaks. Charlotte has been recognized as a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation every year since 1980. Below are questions we often received from residents about their trees and trees in the right-of-way.

Street Tree FAQs

How do I have the street tree(s) pruned or inspected?

Call 704.336.4262 to initiate a work request. An inspector will look at your street trees, determine what needs to be done and assign a crew to complete the work.


A street tree was removed from in front of my house. How can I have it replaced?

Call 704.336.4262 to initiate a street tree request. An inspector will look at the site to see if there is a suitable location for a tree. If there is, one will be planted the following planting season.


Who can I ask about a tree in my yard?

Call the NC Cooperative Extension Service at 704.336.2082. For other information on trees, lawns and landscape plants, visit their website


Insects are eating the leaves of the trees. What is it? What can I do?

Call the NC Cooperative Extension Service at 704.336.2082. For other information on trees, lawns, and landscape plants, visit their website


What is the Charlotte Tree Ordinance?

Chapter 21 of the City Code is titled “Trees.” This Tree Ordinance protects public trees within the street right of way in Charlotte. It protects certain private trees on commercial sites, multifamily sites and single-family developments. It also requires trees to be planted on most of these sites. 


What is the Charlotte Tree Advisory Commission?

The Charlotte Tree Advisory Commission is a board of 10 volunteer citizens who advise the City Manager and City Council on matters related to the tree canopy of Charlotte. They also conduct special service projects and hold hearings on tree ordinance appeals.


What are the best trees to plant in Charlotte?

View our list of recommended plants for roadway landscapes(PDF, 27KB). This is a list of trees that have performed very well as street trees and others that have not. Be sure not to plant medium or large maturing trees near power lines. Before planting in the street right of way, you must obtain a permit from the City Arborist’s office (704.336.4262).


Who is responsible for pruning trees from around power lines?

Each utility is responsible for maintaining their overhead wires. You can reach them by the following links:

Duke Energy






Storm FAQs

How do I know my tree is vulnerable?

Look for these tell-tale signs:

  • There are large dead branches in the tree.

  • There are mushrooms growing around the trunk or roots.

  • There are large cavities or holes in the trunk or main branches.

  • Leaves are dropping in the summertime.


I'm concerned about my tree. What should I do?

  • Seek a professional. Find a professional arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.

  • Make sure you're covered. When hiring a tree company, always get copies of general liability and worker's compensation insurance from the provider. Tree maintenance is a dangerous profession. These policies ensure that you won't be held liable for injuries that take place on your property.

  • Do your homework. Consult the Better Business Bureau, Angie's List or other references before hiring a tree management company.


What should I do during a storm?

Shelter in a safe location and follow instructions by local law enforcement. Call 911 for any life-threatening situations or to report limbs or trees blocking roadways.


What should I do after a storm?

  • Safety first! Stay clear and look for dangerous hanging limbs, downed utility lines, broken branches and other failures before starting cleanup. Keep other people away from areas beneath and around damaged trees by cordoning off the area with caution tape, rope and/or traffic cones.

  • Watch out for scam artists. People claiming to be tree specialists can show up at your house after a storm. Do your homework, check references and make sure the business is legitimate.


How do I report a downed tree during a storm?

For any downed tree, limb and other EMERGENCY tree situations, please CALL 911 immediately. If a tree or part of a tree has fallen and is obstructing or completely blocking a street, CALL 911 immediately.

For non-emergency public tree issues, use this form to report damage to a tree, report a hanging tree limb or request a tree health/condition assessment. Please enter the street location and include a house number. You may also use the CLT+ app or call 311 (704.336.7600 if calling from outside Mecklenburg County).


A tree on my property fell down during a storm. Will the City help clear it?

The City will clear debris from trees within city limits. If the tree that fell originated from private property, the City will only clear debris from the right of way. They will put the debris back on the property where the tree was growing. The rest of the debris is the responsibility of the property owner. 


A City-maintained tree fell on my property. What should I do?

Contact your insurance company and hire a tree company to remove the tree from your property and dispose of the debris that is on your property. The city will clean up the remaining debris located in the street right of way. Contact City of Charlotte Risk Management to file a claim at or 704.336.3301.


My neighbors tree fell on my property. Will the City help clean it up?

No. Trees from private property are a civil matter. You must work with your neighbor to have the tree removed.


I live outside the city limits. Will the City remove a tree blocking the street?

City staff will only respond to downed trees inside city limits. If you live outside city limits, you need to call the town you live in. If you live in unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County, call the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) at 704.244.8260 or dial 911.


Does the City remove trees that fall in backyards, streams, easements, etc.?

No. Those trees are the responsibility of the homeowner.


A tree from the right of way fell and there is still debris. When will it be cleaned up?

Storms generate a large number of citizen requests with varying degrees of urgency and severity. Our first goal is to ensure all streets are open and free of debris. Please be patient, and a crew will be back to clean up the rest of the debris as quickly as possible.


There is a tree or limb on a power/phone/cable line near my house. What should I do?

Per federal guidelines, the City does not work around any type of utility lines. Please contact Duke Energy, Spectrum or the appropriate phone company to report downed lines.