Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-1770
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 518, Fairfax, Va 22035

Brian Keightley,
Division Director, Urban Forest Management

Urban Forestry FAQs

If a tree presents an immediate life-threatening hazard, including falling onto electric wires or it is blocking a public road, call 9-1-1.
Hazardous Trees and Who To Call

Hazardous Trees and Who To Call

What do I do if I see a hazardous tree? Who handles hazardous tree situations in Fairfax County?

Stay away and never attempt to approach or touch trees or limbs that contact power lines, as they are considered extremely dangerous.

If there is a tree fallen across utility lines, please call the appropriate electrical company, such as Dominion Power, 1-888-667-3000, TTY 1-800-522-4015, or NOVEC, 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500, TTY 711.

Visit Tree Resources - Who To Call for information on what to do and who to call about hazardous Trees.

What are the signs of a hazardous tree?

A hazardous tree is a tree, or a portion of a tree, that is in danger of falling and presents a threat to life or property. Find out more about the signs of a hazardous tree and information about pruning and removal at Tree Removal.

Who do I contact if my neighbor is illegally cutting down trees?

If you believe that your neighbor is removing trees or disturbing land illegally, visit the Reporting Land Development Concerns page for information on how to report such activities.

Tree Selection

Tree Selection

Where can I get advice about what to consider when selecting a tree to plant? Tree buying guidance? Information on Native Plants?

Visit Tree Selection for information on what to consider when choosing a tree to get the right tree planted in the right place, buying guidance and information on native plants.

Tree Care

Tree Care

What is the proper way to plant a tree?

Visit Tree Planting and Care for information on how to properly plant a tree and various tree planting resources.

How should I prune my trees and why shouldn't I "top" them?

Using proper pruning techniques is extremely important to the long-term health and viability of trees. Find tips and best practices for pruning and what makes tree topping so harmful at Tree Planting and Care

How do I care for both my trees and lawn? What's the best way to mulch?

Trees and grass are healthier when they are not forced to compete with each other. The best approach is generally to allow a mulched area around the perimeter of the drip line of the tree. Learn more at Tree Planting and Care

My tree looks stressed and strange; what's wrong with it?

A healthy tree has many built-in methods of resisting normal insect and disease invasions.Identifying causes of tree stress and mitigating them early can help a tree to resist or fight harmful agents. Learn more at Tree Planting and Care

Tree Removal

Tree Removal

Can I remove my trees?

In general, there are no laws or regulations in Virginia that prohibit you from removing individual trees on your own property.  Some specific regulations, however, might impact your property. Visit Tree Removal for more information.

Who should I hire to take care of or remove trees on my property?

The condition of your trees can have a significant affect on the value and safety of your property. Therefore, it is in your best interest to be an informed consumer when seeking the services of an arborist. Find out how to hire an arborist.

Insects and Diseases

Insects and Diseases

Where can I find information about the Asian Longhorned Beetle?

The asian longhorned beetle is one of the most serious and destructive tree pests to strike North America, but to date have not been found in Fairfax County. Learn more at Asian Longhorned Beetle.

Where can I find information about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?

Emerald ash borer is a beetle that was accidentally introduced into North America from Asia. It does not generally spread great distances on its own but is typically spread as various ash materials (firewood, wood chips, nursery stock, etc.) are transported from infested to noninfested areas. EAB infests all species of ash and is almost always fatal without treatment. Learn more at Emerald Ash Borer

Where can I find information about the Fall Cankerworm (AKA inchworms and loopers)?

Severe infestations of cankerworms can cause widespread defoliation, tree stress and possible tree death. Major infestations and defoliation have occurred in Fairfax County. Learn more at Fall Cankerworms.

Where can I find information about the Gypsy Moth?

In 1869, the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, escaped from a Massachusetts lab and became established in North America.  It continues to be a serious insect threat to trees and shrubs in the United States. Learn More and volunteer at Gypsy Moths.

Where can I find information about the Spotted Lanternfly?

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that is native to East Asia. Like many exotic insects, it has no known natural enemies in the United States.Spotted Lanternfly has not been found in Fairfax County as of July 2019.  First detected in 2014 in Pennsylvania, the spotted lanternfly has been found in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Help prevent the spotted lanternfly from spreading. Learn more at Spotted Lanternfly

Where can I find information about the Fall Webworms (a.k.a. tent worms or tent caterpillars)

Large webby tents in tree branches are caused by fall webworm. This is a native caterpillar that spins webs over leaves of deciduous trees. This insect does not pose a serious risk to trees and native trees are well adapted to this pest. Learn more at The Fall Webworm in Fairfax County

Outreach and Education

Outreach and Education

Where do I find volunteer opportunities for myself and my group?

Public Works strives to protect and enhance the natural environment, but we can’t do it alone. There are numerous opportunities for volunteers who want to help keep their streets and streams clean and their natural areas green. Learn more at Volunteering

How do I schedule a guest speaker or educational program at my school or for my community group?

Urban Forestry offers programs on the importance and benefits of trees as well as current threats posed by invasive forest pests.Learn more at Urban Forestry Education Programs

Fairfax Virtual Assistant