Tree Preservation Ordinance

The Town of Lewisboro promotes the protection of existing trees and provides for the replacement and planting of new trees. In April 2021, the Lewisboro Town Board adopted Chapter 203 of the Code, “Tree Preservation,” ordinance to preserve and protect the trees in our community, while balancing the rights of homeowners and residents to use and enjoy their property. 

Read the full Lewisboro Tree Preservation Ordinance

The Benefits of Trees

Trees play a vital role in protecting wetlands, waterbodies, and drinking water resources.  

Trees contribute to the natural beauty of the landscape and provide wildlife habitat. 

The presence of trees adds value to homes and helps create a feeling of privacy. 

Properly located trees can help reduce home heating and cooling costs. 

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and polluting particulates. 

Trees help reduce stormwater runoff and surface erosion.

Trees reduce the impact of noise, heat and glare.



Frequently Asked Questions
 

When is a Tree Removal Permit required?
A tree removal permit IS required for:

        • Any tree within any wetland or 150’ from a wetland
        • Any tree on a slope exceeding a grade of 15%
        • Any tree removal which would be considered clear-cutting*
        • Any specimen tree
        • Any tree designated by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) as a protected native plan

When is a Tree Removal Permit not required?
A tree removal permit is NOT required:

        • if a tree (or trees) is located up to 100 feet from a dwelling and would reach the dwelling if it were to fall due to natural causes.
        • for any tree that is dead, diseased, and/or in a state of irreversible decline or decay, as determined by a professional arborist (or other licensed tree service professional retained by the property owner or resident), or which poses a substantial risk to life or property if the tree is not removed.
        • ​for tree removal in connection with construction, for which a building permit application has been submitted or approved by the Building Inspector.
        • for the removal of no more than three trees, of any kind, type or diameter within a calendar year excluding the removal of a tree(s) for which a permit is obtained. The number of trees shall exclude any tree removal as necessary to control forest fires during a fire.
        • for tree removal determined necessary to maintain Town, County, State or utility rights-of-way.
        • for tree removal directed by the NYSDEC for control of invasive species or pest control. (For a complete list of invasive species, visit the New York State “Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species” guide.
        • for tree removal that is part of a forest management plan filed and approved by the NYSDEC or any other agency having jurisdiction.
        • for trees removed to enable agricultural activity.
        • for any tree removal in a Special Character Overlay District.

Is there a fee for obtaining a tree removal permit? 

        • The Town of Lewisboro tree removal application fee is $150. 

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

How do I calculate the diameter of a tree (measuring DBH)? 

        • Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) is a  standard measurement of trees made at 4 1/2 feet above ground level on the uphill side.

What is a specimen tree? 

        • A tree with a DBH of 18 inches or larger. Small native or ornamental flowering trees with a DBH of eight inches or larger are also considered specimen trees.

Can I remove a specimen tree from my property? 

        • The Town’s goal is to preserve specimen trees if possible, however if alternatives do not exist to achieve the objectives of the applicant, a tree removal permit application should be completed and the Town will assess the request.  

Am I required to maintain or replant trees on my property? 

        • Sometimes permission to remove a tree(s) is granted with the condition of the homeowner providing an approved tree mitigation plan to minimize the environmental impact of the change to the area.  The mitigation plan will also contain such elements as mowing requirements and reasonable support of the health of the new trees and plantings.

What happens if I remove a tree(s) without obtaining a permit?

        • Trees that are removed in violation of the Town of Lewisboro Tree Preservation Ordinance may be subject to a fine of $250 to $500 per tree. Each tree removed without a tree removal permit or in violation of the conditions attached to a tree removal permit is considered a separate offense.

How long is a tree removal permit valid?

        • A tree removal permit will expire 24 months from the date it is granted.

What should I do if I see my neighbor cutting down trees in the vicinity of wetlands or that may not otherwise be allowed by the Tree Preservation Ordinance? 

        • If you see tree cutting activity within our town that you are concerned is not being done in accordance with the Tree Preservation Ordinance, please contact the Town Building Department by phone or email.


OTHER RESOURCES

What is the Beech Leaf Disease?
Beech Leaf Disease is currently impacting the Northeast of the United States and is resulting in the die off of many thousands of trees. Read about the Beech Leaf Disease

[Statement about the need for a permit to remove dead Beeches and or the need for an assessment by an arborist.]

What is happening to the local Ash trees?
The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is 1/2 inch long invasive beetle that a has destroyed tens of million of ash trees throughout the United States and Canada since 2002. Small trees can die as soon as one to two years after infestation, while larger infested trees can survive for three to four years.  All of New York’s native ash trees are susceptible to the EAB.  Read about the Emerald Ash Borer.