Urban Forestry

The Urban Forestry Division is charged with growing and maintaining healthy trees throughout the City for the public good.

Our mission is to make Montgomery a more attractive and healthy environment in which to live.   We do this by:

  • regulating the planting, maintenance and removal of trees located on public property
  • establishing and maintaining the maximum sustainable amount of tree cover on public and private lands in the City
  • maintaining City trees in a healthy and non-hazardous condition
  • establishing and maintaining appropriate diversity in tree species and age classes to provide a stable and sustainable urban forest

For questions not answered on this page please contact the City of Montgomery Urban Forester, Russell Stringer, 334-625-2740 or the Urban Forestry Coordinator William Wade 334-625-2148.

Landscape Ordinance & Inspections

All development containing parking of 10 spaces or more must submit a landscape plan to the Urban Forestry Division for review and approval. Landscape plans are reviewed in the order in which they are received. Each plan is reviewed for compliance with the landscape ordinance, and detailed review sheets are sent to the applicant if there is a problem with compliance. Once the landscape plan has been approved, the Urban Forester will sign off on the project.

Before the City of Montgomery will issue a Certificate of Occupancy, the Urban Forestry Division must approve the installation of landscaping for the site. The approved plan on file is used for the final landscape inspection. If the landscaping on site does not concur with the landscape plan on file for the development, a Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued, nor will a temporary Certificate be issued. Once the landscaping has been approved, a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued for the site. 

Documents to help with your landscape planning

Tree Inventory

The City of Montgomery maintains a continuously updated tree inventory for all street trees. This inventory is used for scheduled maintenance of street trees, tracking the health and growth rate of street trees and street tree projects, record keeping as applied to tree assessment, and future planning efforts. The tree inventory exists as an infrastructure layer on the GIS mapping system, and information on individual trees is available upon request. 

Tree Removal Policy

Citizens may request tree maintenance or removal of a city tree by contacting the Urban Forester. Upon receipt of a request, the tree or trees shall be inspected and evaluated and an appropriate plan of action shall be implemented. The citizen making the request shall be notified of the findings of the evaluation and the course of action to be taken.

The City of Montgomery will allow the removal of a tree from public property only when one or more of the following conditions exist:

1. The tree is hazardous. A tree will be considered hazardous when the tree has a condition which makes failure imminent.

2. The tree is a sight distance problem and no other cost effective alternative exists. In the event that a removal request is due to a tree causing a blind corner at an intersection, the Urban Forester will work with the city of Montgomery Traffic Engineering Department to best address the situation. Options that will be evaluated shall include pruning, installing stop or other signage or installing traffic signals. Removal of the tree will be performed only if no other cost effective alternatives exist.

3. The tree is recognized by the Alabama Forestry Commission as an exotic/invasive species.

The City of Montgomery shall not allow the removal of a tree from public property without the written permission of the Urban Forester. 

Urban Forestry FAQs

Can I remove a tree from my property? 
It is a violation of the Historic Ordinance to remove trees from property within a designated Historic District without approval from the Architectural Review Board. 

How do I get approved to remove trees in a historic district?
You may contact the Urban Forester (334-241-2740) to inspect the tree in question. If the Urban Forester deems the tree to be a hazard, you will be issued a permit to remove the tree.

How do I get approved to remove non-hazardous trees from  a historic district?
You may contact the Planning Controls Division (334-241-2722) to be placed on the next Architectural Review Board agenda.

What happens if the architectural review board denies my request and I remove the tree anyway?
The Architectural Review Board may pursue the issue in court.

TREE TRIMMING/REMOVAL

Will the City trim or remove the tree in front of my house?
It is against city policy to remove healthy trees from the public right-of-way. Upon request, the Urban Forester will inspect the tree and determine the correct action.

What information do I need to provide to have a tree inspected?
We will need your name and phone number, address where the tree is located, and the nature of the problem. You may reach us by phone or email.

What happens after a request to inspect a tree is made?
We will perform an onsite inspection to determine appropriate action to take. If pruning or removal is required, a work order is sent to the Maintenance Department. The person requesting the inspection is notified of our findings.

Can I have a tree removed from public right-of-way at my own expense?
Trees located on public right-of-way cannot be removed without a permit from the Urban Forester.  

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