Tree Planting Policy & Procedure

New Trees

Did you know that each year the Town of Normal plants hundreds of new trees in our parks and along our public streets and the Constitution Trail? In order to properly care for the tens of thousands of trees rooted on public property it is essential that Normal’s forestry staff is aware of any new trees that are planted in public property. Trees that are planted on public land ultimately become the property of the Town of Normal.

To ensure that the trees planted are consistent with the public welfare and safety, Division 7 Trees and Schrubs-Section 8.7-1 Trees and Schrubs on Town Property of the Town of Normal Municipal Code, sets the following conditions where a Permit (PDF) is required:
  • The ordinance requires that property owners acquire a permit before they trim or remove any tree or shrub rooted on Town property. The Town may assess a fine for violation of this section ranging from $50 to $500, and may also require the violator to reimburse the Town for the value of the tree or shrub. The permit can be obtained at no cost to property owners.
  • The ordinance would require that a permit be obtained from the Director of Parks and Recreation before any tree or shrub is planted on Town property. Also the ordinance clearly states that any tree or shrub planted on Town property becomes the property of the Town once planted on Town property. The permit can be obtained at no cost to property owners.
  • The ordinance provides for the protection of the root zone for existing trees and shrubs on Town property. A permit must be obtained prior to any digging or trenching activities near the root zone or drip lines of trees and shrubs rooted on Town property. The permit can be obtained at no cost to property owners or private excavating.
Utility companies and the Town’s Water and Sewer Departments are not required to obtain prior approval before performing vegetation management on Town property when such trimming is done in accordance with the ordinance or State law. However, all utility companies would be required to contact the Parks Department prior to trenching or excavating near certain trees in non-emergency situations. Utility companies with franchise agreements that address issues contained in the ordinance are exempt from related provisions of the ordinance.

Please refer to the Recommended and Restricted Tree List (PDF) for guidelines.