Public Reminded of New Law Protecting Trees

Palm trees on St Thomas (photo by Kelsey Nowakowski)

Bill No. 32-0062, The Community and Heritage Tree Law of the Virgin Islands, was signed into law on Jan. 6. This law protects all public trees, which are those within the right-of-way of public roads and on publicly-owned land.

Anyone wishing to prune or remove public trees must apply with the V.I. Department of Agriculture (DOA) via a permit application. Unless an individual or entity has an approved permit from the DOA, it is considered an offense to cause any destruction to or take any portion of a public tree, and it is punishable by law.

This law is enforced by the DOA, the V.I. Police Department and the V.I Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

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To report someone unlawfully causing destruction to a tree on public property, contact the Department of Agriculture at 778-0997 or the V.I. Police Department at 772-9111 (St. Croix) or 776-9110 (St. Thomas-St. John).

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