Street Trees

Street Tree Planting Guides

Citizens may be unaware that Waverly has a tree ordinance with guidelines for planting and trimming and a suggested tree list.  Specifically, the guidelines address the location of new plantings on public land i.e., the parking or the space between the curb and sidewalk. The City prefers to not have trees planted in the parking. However, if you have 50 square feet of exposed soil, 4'9" wide, 4'9" away from driveways and 20 feet away from street intersections, you may plant in the parking. No pine or evergreen should be planted on the parking for safety and visibility reasons. If there is no curb, trees can be planted 10' or farther away from the edge of the street.

Homeowners must keep their trees pruned at least 8' above the sidewalk and 16' above the street. To avoid power lines, trees should not be planted under the lines that will be fully grown over 30'. A list of small trees is available at the Leisure Services office.

By ordinance, these trees have been defined as nuisance trees and cannot be planted on any street or public place. Boxelder, Cottonwood, Boileana, American Elm, Black Locust, Poplar, Siberian Elm, White Poplar, Poplar Willows, Silver Maple, Weeping Birch, Fruit Trees (except ornamentals, Chinese Elm, Lombardy Poplar, Tree of Heaven, Catalpa, European Mountain Ash, and any species of Ash.

The State Urban Forester recommends this list of trees for planting in the space between the curb and sidewalk. You may notice that maple trees are not listed because there are too many maple street trees.

Small trees have a mature height of up to 25 feet, spaced 20 feet apart and include Crabapples, Flowering Crabs, Hornbeam, Hophornbeam, Amur Corktree, Amur Maple, Red Bud, Serviceberry, Japanese Tree Lilac, Japanese Pagoda Tree, Magnolia, Washington Hawthorn, and Dogwood.

Medium trees have a mature height up to 25 to 40 feet and spaced 30 feet apart and include River Birch, Little Leaf Linden, Horsechestnut, Buckeye, Paper Birch, Black Cherry, Ginkgo, and Redmond Linden.

Large trees have a mature height of over 40 feet, spaced 30 to 40 feet apart and include White Oak, Red Oak, Black Oak, English Oak, Burr Oak, Swamp White Oak, Honeylocust (thornless & podless varieties), Kentucky Coffeetree, American Linden, Hickories, Sycamore, Hackberry, and Red Maple.

Summary of Tree Ordinance

In 1989, the Waverly City Council passed a tree ordinance to control and protect the City's trees on public land. The Ordinance was revised to prohibit any species of Ash as of 12-7-2009. The following is a summary.

Whenever possible, plant trees inside property lines and not between sidewalk and curb. Planting trees and shrubs in the parking will be midway between the sidewalk and the curb. If there is no curb, the trees may be planted 10' away from the edge of the road.

Trees should not be planted in the parking when there is 4' 9" or less between the curb and sidewalk. Trees should not be planted closer than 20' from street intersections or 4' 9" from driveways.

These trees are not allowed on public lands (parkings, parks, boulevards, etc.): Boxelder, Cottonwood, Boileana, American Elm, Black Locust, Poplar, Siberian Elm, White Poplar, Poplar Willows, Silver Maple, Weeping Birch, Fruit Trees (except ornamentals, Chinese Elm, Lombardy Poplar, Tree of Heaven, Catalpa, European Mountain Ash, and any species of Ash.

The Leisure Services Department may remove street trees not on private property that interfere with making improvements, have become diseased, or constitute a threat to the public.

The owner of property abutting a street will keep the trees on his property or on the parking trimmed to 16' above the street and 8' above the sidewalk.

Contractors are required to erect barriers protecting trees and shrubs while performing work near streets, parks or public areas.

Finally, tree contractors are required to get an annual permit to operate in the City of Waverly.  To comply, the contractor must provide a $10.00 fee, contact information, and a current certificate of insurance.  Permits may be obtained during office hours at the Leisure Services Office.

Don't forget - always look up before you plant a tree.  In addition, call Iowa One Call - 1-800-292-8989 for location of underground utilities.

For more information, call Waverly Leisure Services at 352-6263.

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