City Forester (815) 987-5763
The City has a tree trimming schedule it uses for trees in the right-of-way. Any trees with utility or service lines running through them are trimmed by an area utility company (ComEd, Cablevision, etc). These companies also follow a tree trimming schedule. For more information, contact (815) 987-5570.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining any private trees or bushes which are adjacent to the public right of way to the standards listed below.
Trees and shrubs standing in or upon any public right-of-way between the lot line and the curb or edge of the improved street or upon any private premises adjacent to any public street, right-of-way, park, playground or place shall be kept trimmed by the owner or owners of the premises upon or in front of which such trees or shrubs are standing so the lowest branches projecting over the public street or right-of-way provide a clearance of not less than fifteen (15) feet and over all the other public places of not less than nine (9) feet. The city forester may waive the provisions of this section for newly planted trees if he determines that they do not interfere with public travel, obstruct the light of any street light or endanger public safety. Any tree or shrub not trimmed as herein provided is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
- The lowest branches must provide a 15 foot clearance over the public street. Branches over the sidewalk or other public places must provide a clearance of at least nine (9) feet.
- A written permit is required for any work on or affecting public trees. Application for a permit must be made of the City Forester a reasonable length of time in advance of the time the work is to be done.
- A written permit from the City Forester is also required for the removal or planting of a tree in the public right-of-way.
- Any Public Tree which is Topped, Dehorned, or Pollarded without the written approval of the City Forester shall be removed and replaced at the expense of the abutting property owner.
For more information about the Forestry Department and what it does, see the FAQ Section above.