Remove a tree

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Benefits of Preserving Trees

Enhance neighborhoods • Increase property values and businesses • Clean water • Support wildlife • Clean the air • Cool the city • Improve human health • Can help lower electricity bills • Help mitigate climate change

If you still want to cut, here are some things you should know.


Call before you cut

Step 1.Call before you cut

Please call 910.254.0900 before you cut any trees to find out whether a permit is required. Cutting trees without a permit has consequences

Step 2.Penalty (Private Property)

  • $150 per inch (diameter at breast height) or $1,200 per tree, whichever is greater, plus mitigation if required.
  • If mitigation is required and cannot be accomplished through replanting on-site, the mitigation fee $175 per inch (diameter at breast height) of the trees removed multiplied by 2

Step 3.Penalty (Public Right-of-Way)

Contact Parks & Recreation




Step 1.When is a permit required?

A permit is required for removal of any tree within the public right-of-way and for any tree with a diameter at breast height of 4 inches or greater located:

  • On all non-residential lots
  • On residential lots greater than 1 acre in size
  • Within a conservation resource setback or protective buffer
  • Within a local historic district, regardless of property size. (A Certificate of Appropriateness is also required.)

Pursuant to Section 18-316(C) of the Land Development Code, protected trees may only be removed if essential site components cannot be accommodated elsewhere on the site. Factors such as cost or removal to accommodate nonessential site improvements shall not be valid reasons for removal of protected trees. Mitigation for tree removal is required in some cases. Contact us to inquire about mitigation requirements.

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Step 2.Specimen Trees

Board of Adjustment approval is required for removal of specimen trees in all zoning districts other than the IND district.







Step 1.Fee Amount

Removal of Trees from Private Property

  • Less than one acre: $25
  • 1-5 acres: $50
  • 5-10 acres: $100
  • Greater than 10 acres: $150
  • Administrative permits where no tree is proposed for removal: $0
  • Mitigation: $175 per caliper inch of mitigation required

Removal of Trees from Public Right-of-Way

Contact Parks & Recreation for information on fees associated with removal of trees from public right-of-way

Step 2.Payment Options

If you plan to pay in advance, planning staff must first notify the collections department to enable acceptance of payments.

Payment by Phone (910. 343.4745)

  • 8 am to 5 pm (Monday through Friday except for holidays)
  • Limited to VISA and MasterCard payments.

Payment in Person

  • 8 am to 5 pm (Monday through Friday except for holidays)
  • Billing & Collections Office
    Skyline Center
    929 North Front Street, 1st Floor

Payment by Mail

  • Please include invoice number or account number
  • Regular Mail
    City of Wilmington Collections
    PO Box 1810
    Wilmington, NC 28402
  • Express Mail
    City of Wilmington Collections

    929 North Front Street, 1st Floor
    Wilmington, NC 28401

Report Tree Removal Activity or call 910.254.0900 for immediate attention