If a notice of disputed tree information is received from the Department, the applicant can either employ the services of a North Carolina licensed landscape architect or certified arborist to perform a tree survey, amend the site plan, or notify the Department in writing that any or all of the disputed trees are deleted from the application. If the applicant selects a tree survey, the landscape architect or certified arborist will submit a report under seal that contains a tree inventory of existing trees in the removal zone for the outdoor advertising structure and include the age of any tree that existed at the time that the sign was erected. The report will categorize tree species and include a site map of sufficient detail and dimensions. A tree survey will not be required for subsequent applications to cut, thin, prune, or remove trees at the same site for trees that have been previously permitted. Any dispute relating to whether or not the tree existed at the time the outdoor advertising sign was erected shall be conclusively resolved by information in the report from the licensed landscape architect or certified arborist.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 136-133.1