Town Tree & Shrub Ordinance

The tree canopy is a major component of the Town’s green infrastructure. Trees provide many benefits in the form of shade for cooling and reduced energy consumption, wildlife and pollinator habitat, aesthetics and beautification, reduction in air pollutants, storm water regulation, carbon sequestration, water quality improvement and an increase in property values.

The purpose of the Town Tree and Shrub Ordinance is to:

  • Promote and preserve the Town’s aesthetic value with respect to trees and shrubs
  • Regulate and control the planting and maintenance of trees and shrubs on the public right-of-way and on adjacent property
  • Enhance and improve the protection and maintenance of trees and shrubs
  • Provide for the public general welfare and safety with respect to trees and shrubs

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The Municipal Code, Section 8.7 – Trees and Shrubs [PDF], contains provisions regarding the preservation and protection of all Town-owned trees and shrubs. This ordinance establishes authorization and standards for addressing a wide range of issues regarding the community’s tree canopy.

  1. All trees and shrubs planted in or located on the public right-of-way are the property of the Town. The Director of Parks and Recreation has exclusive jurisdiction and supervision over all trees and shrubs planted and growing on Town property.
  2. When determined necessary for the health of a tree or shrub or for the welfare and safety of persons or property, the Park and Recreation Department has the authority to prune or remove any tree or shrub located on or growing in the public right-of-way.
  3. Any tree or shrub located on or growing in the public right-of-way or other Town-owned property cannot be pruned or removed unless he or she first obtains a permit from the Town.
  4. Property owners adjacent to public streets, alleys, or sidewalks should not permit the limbs or foliage of trees or shrubs planted on their premises to grow in such a manner as to impede the travel of vehicles or persons on streets, alleys, or sidewalks or to obstruct the view of any traffic control device, regulatory or traffic sign, or other vehicles or persons who may be on or enter the roadway.
  5. Any branch or portion of a tree or shrub shall be considered an impediment if it is less than 8 feet above a sidewalk or less than 14 feet above an alley or street.
  6. No person can plant a tree or shrub in the public right-of-way or on any Town-owned property unless he or she first obtains a permit from the Town.
  7. All tree species that are permitted to be planted in the public right-of-way must be included on the Town of Normal Recommended Tree List [PDF].
  8. It is unlawful for any person to dig a trench or other hole deeper than one inch on Town property within an area closer than one foot of the outer dripline of any tree unless he or she first obtains a permit from the Town.
ADDITIONAL TREE AND SHRUB INFORMATION:

Municipal Code Section 8.7 – Trees and Shrubs [PDF]
Tree Impact Permit [PDF]