Public Tree Certificate

Urban Forestry Program

The City Council established an urban forestry program for the conservation and maintenance of trees on city owned or controlled property. A part of the program was the creation of an Urban Forestry Committee (UFC) which is an interdepartmental team with expertise in the planting and maintenance of trees. The UFC is composed of representatives from the Parks and Recreation, Electrical, Public Services and Planning and Development Departments. One of their roles is to review public requests to plant, maintain or remove trees on city owned or controlled property.

City owned or controlled property is land that is owned or leased by the City of High Point. It is also land that the city controls through public rights-of-way and easements for public purposes such as for streets, public utilities, pedestrian access, greenways and open space, or for the protection of water quality.

Requests submitted to plant, maintain or remove these trees are processed through the Public Tree Certificate process.


  • None

Approvals or Permits Issued


  1. The applicant submits an application and supplemental documents.
  2. The application is assigned a Case Manager to act as the point of contact and assist with managing the request through the process.
  3. The application is reviewed by the Urban Forestry Committee in accordance with City’s Guidelines and Standard Practices for Trees (PDF).
  4. The UFC will consider the request and hear from the applicant on the matter, if necessary.
  5. After consideration of the request, the UFC will make a decision to approve, approve with revisions, or deny the application. The applicant will receive written notice of the decision.
  6. An appeal of the UFC decision may be filed with the Board of Adjustment within 30 days of the written decision.

Submittal Requirements

  1. Completed Public Tree Certificate Application (PDF) submitted to the Planning and Development Department or online through Accela Citizen Access (ACA)
  2. If submitting on ACA, attach a completed Indemnification Statement (PDF).

Additional Information

  • All requests are reviewed in accordance with the City’s Guidelines and Standard Practices for Trees (PDF).
  • These Guidelines provide helpful information, such as when tree removal is appropriate, general maintenance practices, assessments of potentially hazardous trees, and links to the City's Recommended Plant Materials (PDF), which provides information about trees and their appropriateness for certain situations.
  • However, the Guidelines are just that, and in some cases it may be necessary for the UFC to use their best judgment about the unique circumstances of each request.
  • The Guidelines include exemptions to the application requirement for regular maintenance activities by public and private utilities or the addressing of identified tree hazards. There is also a waiver for clearance after storm damage or other emergency situations.
  • In some instances, the UFC decides that a tree should be periodically monitored, in which case it is logged into a separate tree “watch list.”

Expected Processing Time

  • Within 2 business days of receipt of an application the Planning & Development Department will determine whether an application is complete or incomplete.
  • If the application is incomplete, then the applicant will be notified within those 2 business days with a written list of application deficiencies. 
  • If the application is complete, then it shall be considered submitted.
  • Approximately 20 business days from submittal of a complete application the Urban Forestry Committee will meet and make a decision.


  • There is no fee to file a public tree certificate application.