Charlottesville has adopted a Tree Conservation Ordinance (PDF) to allow special trees to be considered for additional protections. Trees may be nominated in one of four categories:
- Heritage tree means any tree that is believed to have a notable historic or cultural interest.
- Memorial tree means any tree that is a special commemorating memorial.
- Specimen tree means any tree that is believed to be notable by virtue of its outstanding size and quality for its particular species.
- Street tree means any tree that is believed to grow in the street right-of-way or on private property as authorized by the owner and placed or planted there by the local government.
Anyone may nominate a tree on private property, but if the tree is not nominated by the property owner, the nomination must include written consent of the property owner. Only the Tree Commission may nominate public trees.