Tree Removal in the Critical Area

The State of Maryland has strict environmental protections that may impact your property. The "Critical Area" is defined as any land within 1,000 feet of the tidal influence of the Chesapeake Bay. This doesn't just mean within 1,000 feet of the Bay itself; it also includes rivers and streams that are its tributaries.


If your home or business is in the critical area, you need to follow proper steps if you plan to remove any trees. A tree may be removed unless it's in the buffer area (read on for more details about buffer areas). However, it must be replaced by a new tree. The law requires no net loss of trees in the critical area. Depending on your tree's size, age, location, and other variables, you may have to plant more than one tree for each one you remove.


The Critical Area law includes special provisions for "Buffer Areas." A 100-foot vegetative buffer is required around the State's tidal waters, tidal wetlands, and tributaries. In general, trees may not removed from the buffer area unless they are dead, dying, diseased, or pose a safety hazard. A Buffer Management Plan is required any time you plan to remove a tree from a Buffer Area.


Since Eastern Tree Service has been operating on the Shore since before the Critical Area law was enacted, we are very familiar with its requirements. We can help you comply with the regulations and develop a Buffer Management Plan if necessary.


You can learn more about the services we offer here, or you can contact us for a free estimate. We'll be glad to help!