Do I need a local permit to cut trees?

If you are proposing cutting within the Shoreline Protection Overlay District (SPOD), within the vegetative buffer that is 50ft from the reference line: 

  • 235-19.F. (1)(b):Within this area, dead, diseased, unsafe, noxious or fallen trees or saplings may be removed, provided that dead and living trees that provide dens and nesting places for wildlife are encouraged to be preserved.

  • 235-19.F.(1)(c)[2]: Existing trees of less than four inches in diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground may be removed, and larger trees may be pruned, provided that a well-distributed stand of trees is maintained and that disturbance of the soil and forest floor is minimized.

  • 235-19. F.(2)(6): No stumps can be removed within 50 feet of the shoreline, although they can be ground down. 

Outside of the 50 foot vegetative buffer within the SPOD, the City has no restrictions on tree cutting, however, you may need to file an intent-to-cut with the State of New Hampshire if you plan to cut 1000 MBF or 20 cords for harvest. If you have questions about tree cutting, contact the Conservation Technician in the Laconia Planning Department.


If you are proposing logging or cutting within a wetland, vernal pool or waterbody, or their protective buffers, per 235-17. F.:  

(1): Logging operations which: 

(a) Utilize best management practices as described in Best Management Practices for Erosion Control on Timber Harvesting Operations in New Hampshire; and 

(b) Comply with all applicable state laws including obtaining and filing an intent-to-cut form according to RSA 79:10, and filing a complete Notification of Forest Management Activities Having Minimum Wetlands Impact according to RSA 482-A:3, or obtaining a State Wetlands Board permit according to RSA 482-A.

If you are not conducting a logging operation, you will need a wetland Conditional Use Permit in order to cut trees, under 235-17.H. (1) “Activities that alter or remove soils or vegetation including clearing, dredging, draining or filling.” Contact the Conservation Technician in the Planning Department for more information


If you are proposing to cut trees in a conservation open space within a development: 

Conservation open spaces consist of significant of unique stands of trees in good health, defined under 235-40 as,

"trees that are six inches or greater in diameter at breast height, in good health, of a noninvasive species and/or present a significant visual impact on the surrounding area or landscape."Dead, diseased and dying trees can be removed from conservation open spaces, but the condition of the tree should be confirmed by a trained arborist or forester, unless obvious (i.e. tree is clearly dead and falling over). Permission should be obtained from the City, as well as the homeowners association that you live in. 

Show All Answers

1. Does my project proposal need to go before the Conservation Commission?
2. Do I need a local permit to cut trees?
3. What is the difference between pervious and impervious surfaces?
4. What is green space and how do I calculate the square footage of green space on my property?
5. What is the difference between a Conservation Easement, Conservation Open Space, and Current Use?
6. How do I get in contact with the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services?