Preventive Maintenance Pilot Program

For Fiscal Year 2022 (July 2021 – June 2022), the forestry program received additional funding to provide preventive pruning, to reduce risk from dead, dying, diseased, or damaged limbs on trees. Arlington County has over 19,500 street trees, and this program hopes to address these issues on a subset of our highest value trees.

What trees will be part of the pilot program?

Pruning and other maintenance will be identified for trees:

  • That are high value, typically large mature trees.
  • In areas with high volumes of calls or requests for needed tree maintenance 
  • In areas with lower than average tree equity scores (lower than 95, learn more here: Tree Equity Score ) . 


What issues does this program seek to address?

We are seeking to address issues in trees to prolong their health, and reduce risk from branches or other tree parts that may fall. In order of importance, we will prioritize:

  1. Risk reduction. We seek to reduce risk from parts of trees that may fall. Learn more about tree risk here.
    1. Pruning or treatment of dead, diseased, dying, damaged branches or other parts of the tree
    2. Removal of dead or high risk street trees, if found, and not already reported through our system.
  2. Structural pruning, to help the long-term structural health and growth of medium-aged, usually smaller trees. Learn more about structural pruning here.
  3. Vision clearance issues
    1. Providing pruning of vision-blocking limbs or vegetation, where needed 
    2. Removal of growth covering critical signs (traffic lights, stop lights)
  4. Branches touching buildings, clearing up to a maximum of 5 ft from a building


How should I expect to be notified?

  • Maintenance will be performed on the trees, near the area of no-parking signs. This typically does not last longer than a couple of days, depending on the work involved. The no-parking signs will state how long the crews will be there. 
  • If you are in one of the areas of the pilot program, the forestry office will reach out to the Civic Association contacts to inform them of the program.
  • No-parking signs will be installed before the work is performed on trees that need maintenance. They will say “preventive pruning” or something similar. In some cases, no-parking signs will not be necessary, and tree work will be performed without major disruption to parking.


Will trees be removed as part of this program?

Occasionally, trees will be found to be dead, or have a high risk of failure, due to major structural faults. These trees may be scheduled for removal as part of this program. Removal is the last course of action, and, where possible, we seek to find alternative ways to prolong a tree’s physical and structural health. 


Contact with questions about this program. If you have an immediate tree risk issue that needs to be assessed, please use the Report a Problem tool.