Vegetation Management Plans

Guidelines for completion of a Vegetation Management Plan for removal of existing natural vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, Forest Conservation Easements or within Bog Protection Areas.

All activities other than farming, gardening or maintenance of an existing grass lawn which involves the cutting, pruning, or outright removal of existing natural vegetation in the Critical Area buffer or expanded buffer (within a minimum of 100’ of tidal waters and tidal wetlands) recorded Forest Conservation Easements, or Bog Protection Areas is subject to completion of the attached Standard Vegetation Management Plan (VMP), which must be completed and submitted to the Anne Arundel County Department of Inspections and Permits / Forestry Program for approval prior to beginning work.

Vegetation Management Plan

Requests for removal of understory vegetation, including shrub layer and invasive (vine) material, must be identified or noted on the property sketch. Understory vegetation, including invasive vines, is considered habitat. Replacement with native vegetation on an equal area basis will be necessary.
If the proposed work is occurring both inside the Critical Area 100-foot buffer, as well as outside the buffer, please indicate as such on the site plan.

All requests for approval must include a property sketch indicating the on-site location of the vegetation or individual trees to be removed. Requests submitted without a sketch may be rejected.
Requests for the removal of individual trees (only) that are submitted with photos and a narrative description detailing the need for removal may be processed expeditiously.
Individual trees proposed for removal must be marked with flagging, tape or paint for inspection purposes. Do not remove trees or vegetation until a signed/approved copy of the VMP is received.
Post the approved VMP (or have a copy available on-site) when work is being performed. This is required for inspection purposes.

If there is an open Building or Grading Permit, the requested VMP may be rejected and the applicant will be instructed to revise the open permit.

If the VMP is for a non-structural, non-impervious pathway, a site plan indicating the size and area of work must be submitted. Disturbance for access must be less than 5,000 square feet. Any disturbances greater than 1,000 square feet may be referred to the Grading and Inspections Division.

Pruning of trees may only be performed by the homeowner or a State of Maryland Licensed Tree Expert. Work not performed to industry standards (ANSI A300) may be reported to the State Department of Natural Resources and/or any other licensing agencies. Topping of trees will not be approved and may be considered a violation.
A  list of Licensed Tree Experts may be obtained at the DNR Forest Service website.