D.C. Council’s pruning of Tree Fund places tree conservation out on a limb:
The Urban Forest Preservation Act offers special protection to District trees with a circumference of 55 inches (17.5 inches in diameter). With certain exceptions--e.g., the tree poses a high risk of failure and property--protected trees may not be cut down without first securing a permit. Failure to properly secure a permit results in a minimum fine of $5,500. A permit may only be secured if the contractor agrees to plant replacement trees or pay into the “Tree Fund.” The Tree Fund money is designated exclusively towards the planting of replacement trees in the District and similar purposes.