Urban Forestry Programs

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What are City Managed Trees?

Trees that are located in parkways (between the curb and the sidewalk) and from the sidewalk up to ten feet toward homes are usually City-managed trees.

The City has a tree planting easement in commercial and residential areas and requires that one tree be planted for every forty feet of street frontage. The property owner is asked to water young trees and the City will provide for the ongoing maintenance; such as staking, tying and pruning.

How to Get Help

Problems with a City-managed tree? As with all living things, trees grow, react and interact with their surrounding environment. Sometimes that might cause you or your neighbors a problem or inconvenience. To receive help for problems like roots in your lawn, raised sidewalks, suspected sewer blockage, insects, pruning or re-staking, simply call 925-0951 ext. 260. An inspection will be completed within 48 hours of your call. If necessary, service will follow. Of course, if there is eminent danger, response will be immediate.

Requesting Removal of a City Tree

Street trees are candidates for removal if they are dead, dying, diseased or structurally unsound (SMCC 8-8.05-A). The process to remove a City street tree requires a written request by the property owner stating their reasons for removal. *City staff will inspect, evaluate and advise the property owner of the action that will be taken. The Recreation and Parks Commission has been charged by the City Council to act on its behalf regarding tree matters. Trees are removed at the discretion of the Commission. The property owner has the right to appeal Commission decisions to the City Council.

If a healthy tree must be removed for "development" or if the City approves the property owner's request to remove a healthy tree, the removal fees and replacement tree costs are the responsibility of the property owner. Two 24" box size replacement trees are required for each healthy tree removed for the owner's convenience.

*Loss of leaves, insects, and/or damage to public improvements are not considered sufficient grounds for removal of a healthy tree.

Tree Hazards

  • Dead or Diseased Canopy
  • Branches Overhanging Roofs
  • Too Close to Power Lines
  • Fallen Branches
  • Damaged Sidewalks or Utilities

How to Care for a New Tree

Choose the right tree for your property. Determine the tree's purpose and the available space. Trees need to be planted a minimum of ten feet from driveways and eight feet from utilities.

Tree care will require deep watering by hand, once a week during the first year. Thorough watering will encourage the roots to grow down deep. Watering by sprinklers causes the roots to compete with the lawn for water, and the roots will stay on the surface.

Keep a minimum of one foot from the trunk clear of grass or other plant material. This will prevent lawn mower and weedeater damage, along with reducing the competition between the root ball of the tree and the turf for available water and nutrients.