Heritage Tree Program

The Urban Forest Heritage tree program is a way to recognize special trees we have within the City of  Fredericksburg. The program allows for nominations in 5 categories: Specimen, Historic, Collection, Ecological Value and Street Tree. Anyone may nominate a tree or a tree community for this program. 

Heritage Tree nomination forms must be received by the City Arborist by August 15th of each year. This allows time for the tree to be assessed for health, form and special characteristics as noted on the nomination form. Trees chosen for the program will be announced in April each year, on or near Arbor Day. Depending on nominations received, up to 3 trees/groves may be chosen each year. Photos of the trees may be posted on the Fredericksburg City website or used in promotion of the program, such as in an annual calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Heritage Tree Program?

Fredericksburg is a City proud of its heritage and its environment. It is a very walkable City full of much character, and one of the things that adds character to this unique City is the number of mature trees found throughout. The Heritage Tree Program strives to bring attention to these trees, helping to highlight each tree’s specialness and bring awareness to proper tree care and maintenance, as well as educate about the benefits trees bring to a community.

Who can nominate a tree?​

Anyone can nominate a tree. Nominations for trees on private property must have permission of the property owner.

Why should I let my tree be nominated?

The City will provide the owner with recommendations regarding the proper care and maintenance of the Designated Heritage tree, including a suggested care plan and information on how to choose quality tree care professionals. Owners will be encouraged to prune heritage trees in accordance with ANSI/International Society of Arboriculture standards, which any certified tree care specialist can advise on or do. Any pruning not in compliance with Heritage Tree program requirements may cause dismissal of tree from program. Participation in the program is entirely voluntary and carries no regulatory enforcement with it. Owners will receive a plaque in recognition.

What Trees can be in the program?

Any tree within City limits may be nominated to become a heritage tree. This includes trees on private as well as public property. There are several categories available when nominating a tree for the program:
  • Specimen: A tree of exceptional size, form and/or rarity.
  • Historic: A tree recognized by its age or association with or contribution to a historic event or person(s), or is figurative in lore, legend or local perception.
  • Collection: A group of trees that are notable in age, location, history or species.
  • Ecological value: Some trees provide special habitat opportunities or may be situated in a site where it plays a critical role to another plant species, provides extensive runoff/erosion protection. This may be a singe tree or a group of trees.
  • Street Tree: An exceptional street tree in form, size, species or historical significance. Street trees often cannot reach full mature potential, so will be considered in a separate category.
Nominated trees must be structurally sound, without disease, true to its genetic form, not topped or badly pruned and have full potential to reach mature size and form. The exception category to this is street trees, which often cannot reach full size due to other infrastructure constraints.