Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–3310. Destroying vines, bushes, shrubs, trees or protections thereof; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person willfully to top, cut down, remove, girdle, break, wound, destroy, or in any manner injure any vine, bush, shrub, or tree not owned by that person, or any of the boxes, stakes or any other protection thereof, under a penalty not to exceed, for each and every such offense:

(1) In the case of any tree 55 inches or greater in circumference when measured at a height of four and one half feet, a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both; or

(2) For vines, bushes, shrubs, and smaller trees, a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.


(July 29, 1892, 27 Stat. 324, ch. 320, § 13; June 19, 2001, D.C. Law 13-314,§ 3, 48 DCR 2076; June 12, 2003, D.C. Law 14-309, § 201, 50 DCR 888; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 21(b), 52 DCR 2638; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 214(d), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-3110.

1973 Ed., § 22-3110.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-314 substituted “$500” for “$50”.

D.C. Law 14-309 rewrote the section which had read as follows: “It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to girdle, break, wound, destroy, or in any manner injure any of the trees growing or planted and set, or which may hereafter be planted and set on any of the public grounds, open space, or squares or on any private lot, or on any of the streets, or avenues, roads or highways, in the District of Columbia, or any of the boxes, stakes, or any other protection thereof, under a penalty of not exceeding $500 for each and every such offense; and if any person or persons shall tie or in any manner fasten a horse or horses to any of the trees, boxes, or other protection thereof on any streets or avenues, roads, or highways, on any of the public grounds belonging to the United States, or on any of the streets, avenues, or alleys, in the District of Columbia, each and every such offender shall forfeit and pay for each offense a sum not exceeding $10.”

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsecs. (a) and (b), validated a previously made technical correction.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “$15,000” in (1), and for “$5,000” in (2).

Cross References

Conduct of prosecutions under this section, see § 22-1809.

Cutting down or destroying things on the land of another, see § 22-3308.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 214(d) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.