Tree Removal Information



Why does North Salem have a Tree Removal Law?

Trees are important in maintaining a balanced and biodiversity rich ecology, and for both the environmental benefits and natural beauty they provide.  Uncontrolled removal of trees may adversely impact the areas surrounding the areas of the activity.

Read our local Tree Removal Law here: Chapter 189

Why are trees important?

  • Trees provide shade, impede soil erosion, aid water absorption and retention, inhibit excess runoff and enhance air quality.
  • Trees offer a natural barrier to noise, serve as natural habitat for wildlife, promote biodiversity and ecological connectivity, minimize fragmentation, and provide buffering and screening between land uses.
  • Trees provide color, seasonal variation, vertical relief and visual continuity across the broader landscape.
  • Tree forests help provide a "critical mass" of prime habitat for many types of wildlife, including threatened or endangered species. A mix of forest types are essential to retain and promote biodiversity.

If you are considering removing trees?

First call the building department to determine whether or not you need a permit. 914-669-5952. 

When is a Tree Removal Permit required?

Several factors may trigger a tree removal permit:

  • Removing three or more trees with a dbh1 of 6-inches or more within a one acre area.
  • Removing a tree 36 inches dbh or greater
  • Removing trees on steep slopes, within dedicated Open Space areas or within Town Historic or Road Districts.

What do I do if I see a neighbor or resident cutting down trees?

  • Contact the Building Department at 914-669-5952 to find out if they have a permit.

What is the procedure for applying for a tree removal permit?

Is there a fee for obtaining a tree removal permit?

Is there a penalty if I do not apply for a permit?

  • YES.  Any person committing an offense against any provision of Chapter 189, upon conviction of a misdemeanor, will be punishable by a fine or by imprisonment or both.   Most likely you will be required to apply for the permit after-the-fact to cure the violation, and this could be more costly than obtaining the permit in the first place.

[1] DBH, or Diameter at Breast Height, is a standard measurement of trees made at 4.5 feet above ground level on the uphill side.

PDF icon North Salem Tree Removal Law Poster1.63 MB