Private Trees

 Overhanging Tree Limb on City Vehicle

Trees offer timeless beauty, and provide essential habitat and shelter for many living things through all seasons.  

To keep your private tree in good health, proper maintenance is necessary. The city does not maintain private trees.  Property owners can choose to maintain their private tree on their own, or may contract a tree care provider.

When it comes to nuisances trees, forestry may cause a private property owner to remediate private tree issues that present hazards in the city right-of-way. Other private tree issues, such as encroaching on an adjacent property, should be discussed with the property owner where the problem originates.  



Private Trees Overhanging Sidewalks, Streets and Alleys

Many alleys throughout the City have limited widths and other obstacles our Solid Waste and other heavy equipment operators have to maneuver around to provide service. Overhanging tree limbs from private property have resulted in an increase in vehicles striking tree limbs because limbs from private property are encroaching on the City's right-of-way.
Overhanging Tree Limbs Diagram
Tree limbs at a height of less than 8ft above a sidewalk and less than 14ft above a street or alley are hazardous to those who use these right-of-ways to travel within the City. They can present hazards to pedestrians, block off the line of vision for drivers and cause damage to public and private vehicles. Ordinance 8.14.280 states, "It shall be the duty of any property owner bordering on any street upon which property there may be trees or shrubs, to prune such trees or shrubs in such manner that they will not obstruct or shade the street lights, or obstruct the passage of pedestrians or vehicles on such sidewalks or streets, or obstruct vision of traffic signs, or obstruct view of any street intersection."

It's important to comply with this ordinance because if a tree or any other woody plant material encroaching on the City's right-of-way causes damage to a vehicle not owned by you; you could be held liable for the damages. If you own a tree that overhangs a sidewalk, street or alley, please prune your trees to a height of 8 ft. above the sidewalk and 14 ft. above street and alley right-of-ways.

Click here for more details on your private tree responsibilities under Ordinance 8.14.

To report a private tree that is under height and overhanging a street, sidewalk or alley you may call the Forestry Division at 563.326.7896 or issue a service request

Questions? Call 563.326.7923