Tree Removal

Buffer, Landscape and Tree Protection:

The City of Duluth adopted Article 7: Landscape, Buffer and Tree Protection of the Unified Development Code (UDC) to recognize the importance of greenspace and how it enhances the quality of life of the citizens of Duluth.  The City also acknowledges that the protection and preservation of trees, the planting of new trees and other landscape material, and the provision of undisturbed buffers is a public purpose.  Every property owner or occupant is responsible for the normal care of trees located on their property. The existence of dead, substantially injured, damaged or diseased trees is not allowed to exist or to be maintained on any premises which are hazardous to persons on adjacent property, the adjacent property or public streets. Any entity seeking to remove trees from their property, healthy or otherwise, should contact the City of Duluth.  

All questions and requests pertaining to the Buffer, Landscape and Tree requirements including, but not limited to tree removal, should be submitted directly to the contact listed above.

Tree Removal:

Non single-family residential

All sites within the City other than single-family residential lots shall maintain a minimum tree density of twenty (20) units per acre. The term “unit” is an expression of basal area as defined in the Unified Development Code and is not synonymous with “tree”.

The removal of any trees or vegetation from any non single-family residential property in the City of Duluth is prohibited without prior written approval from the City of Duluth's Community Development Department. Anyone interested in the removal of trees or vegetation from a non single-family residential property in the City of Duluth must submit a request in writing to be reviewed  by the City of Duluth's Community Development Department. Alterations to an approved Landscape Plan will require the submittal of a new Landscape Plan for the City's records.

Single-family Residential

No permit is required for the removal of trees at single-family residential properties in the City of Duluth. However, all single-family residential lots being developed as a sub-division in the City shall maintain a minimum tree density based upon the maximum number of trees that can be maintained within twenty percent (20%) of the lot’s Plantable Area, taking into consideration the standards established in the Buffer, Landscape and Tree section of the UDC for tree size and separation. 

The City urges property owners or tenants to contact Forrest Huffman prior to the removal of any trees so required buffers and existing right-of-ways can be checked.  Trees removed from required buffers must be replanted immediately at the owner's expense.