Rockville, MD Master Street Tree Plan

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Rockville, MD, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted

Source File:


Mission Statement
The City of Rockville has a legal and moral obligation to maintain healthy and safe trees on municipal land and public streets. The Street Tree Master Plan is a reasonable, responsible, and necessary way to make neighborhoods more aesthetically pleasing and to reduce tree-related problems.

Goals and Objectives

  • To provide for the continuation of the existing 22,000 street trees located on more than 500 streets in the City of Rockville.
  • To incorporate citizen and neighborhood input into the decision-making process to establish a list of pre-approved replacement tree species to be planted when a street tree has been removed, either because it has died or become hazardous.
  • To provide for planting and maintenance of a uniform streetscape on individual streets.
  • To ensure diversification of tree species throughout the City, and within each major section of the City, as a key to ensuring the overall health of the urban forest.
  • To ensure that each planting space in the City is planted, unless conditions prohibit doing so.

To designate appropriate replacement tree species for specific planting locations based on the species' aesthetic interest, adaptability to the streetscape environment, width of the planting space, presence of overhead utilities, and ease of long-term maintenance.

Key Principles and Policies

  • It is the policy of the Mayor and Council of Rockville that the City will have tree-lined streets. Therefore, each planting space in the City will be planted.
  • A street tree will only be removed and replaced if it is dead or dying, or it develops structural defects that can lead to failure of the whole tree or large portions of the tree.
  • Street trees in the City of Rockville are maintained under the provisions of the Maryland Roadside Tree Law as administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
  • The species designated for a particular street is subject to change, if a majority of the residents on that street agree, and as long as the alternate selection meets all of the criteria of the Street Tree Master Plan. Once replacement planting begins, no further changes can be made other than in cases where the species is removed from the approved planting list.
The goal of the Master Street Tree Plan is to select replacement trees for specific locations -- taking into account planting space, overhead lines, etc. Another objective is to diversify tree species within neighborhoods and provide uniformity on streets.

Rockville is committed to maintaining healthy and safe trees on municipal lands and public streets, and it is the mission of the Recreation and Parks Department to provide a sustained, long term, and stable urban forest. The role of municipal forestry requires constant review and analysis, planning, protection, management, safety, and care, with emphasis on improving the quantity and quality of our trees. The Master Street Tree Plan is a key effort in this mission and the overall responsibility to care for City trees. It also is a necessary, proactive way to reduce tree-related problems and beautify Rockville.

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