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.

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).