Street Tree Planting and Maintenance

The City of Charlotte Arborist Group maintains more than 200,000 trees along City streets and plants an average of 800 trees each year. Residents can call 704.336.4262 and request an inspection if they have a concern about a tree in the right-of way. To learn more about choosing, pruning, watering, mulching and pest management, visit the tree care resources page.

What is the City Right-of-Way?

A diagram of cross-section of a neighborhood street illustrating which area is considered right-of-way

A tree is in the right-of-way if it is in the grass strip between the sidewalk and street. If your street does not have sidewalks, you can call 704.336.4262 to help determine if the tree in question is in the right-of-way.
A certified arborist will come out to inspect the tree in question. You will receive a door hanger if you are not home, indicating a contact person as well as what the arborist determined about the tree.  
If work is needed on the tree, it will be assigned to one of the city’s crews or an outside contractor. Depending on the existing backlog and priority level deemed by the arborist at the time of the inspection, work may take several months to occur. You can call and request updates with the service request number listed on the doorhanger. 
Resident can also call and request a tree be planted in front of their home. This can occur in the planting strip or in the right of way area if you do not have a sidewalk. An inspector will come out to look at the area to determine if a tree can be planted. If it can, the address will be placed on a list to receive a tree in an upcoming planting season (January - March of each year). 
To prune, remove or plant a tree in the right-of-way you must first obtain a no-cost permit to do so. You may call 704.336.4262 to be put in contact with the staff person that can assist you. An arborist will meet you on site to discuss what can be done and the qualifications required of the person that will be doing the work.  
Any pruning, removal or planting of trees in the right of way without a permit will result in a notice of violation and a monetary fine.

According to the Charlotte Code of Ordinances, property owners are responsible for maintaining grass and vegetation all the way to curb. Fines start at $150 for violations. Learn more at