Tree Preservation and Removal Information
About Tree Preservation
The Village places significant emphasis on trees and their environmental, economic and social benefits and specifically their ability to reduce stormwater runoff, air pollution and energy costs while increasing property values. For that reason, the Village requires those seeking to remove trees to submit an application prior to removing any trees with a diameter equal to or greater than six (6) inches in diameter (twelve inches for clump trees). The information below is designed to help residents navigate the application process for tree removals.
Tree Removals on Private Property
If you would like to remove a tree from your property, a tree removal permit is required for any tree over six inches in diameter, measured at 4.5 feet off of the ground, or for any multiple trunk tree with a combined diameter of twelve inches, regardless of the condition of the tree.
When you apply for a permit, one of the Village’s arborists will consult with you about the tree and discuss your plans as well as any alternatives. They will also advise you of any necessary approvals which may need to be secured before the removal of a tree.
Removals as Part of a Building Permit Application
When applying for a building permit, you are required to submit a drawing showing the location of all existing trees 6-inches or larger, that are located on or near the property that will be affected by the construction.
If there are anticipated tree removals associated with a submitted building permit application, a tree removal application will also need to be submitted in conjunction with the application. The Tree Preservation Officer will evaluate the lot where you will be building. A separate permit will be issued for any tree removals that are proposed. If the tree permit is issued conditionally, it will carry a replacement guarantee or fee in lieu of replanting for the trees you are removing.
Given the proposed work, it may be required to install and maintain 4' tall, wood slat snow or chain link fence in order to protect existing trees through the course of construction. Snow or chain link fence is to be secured to wood or metal posts spaced a maximum of 6' apart. Orange mesh fencing is not an acceptable fence type.
When planting new trees, applicants should consult the Tree Replacement List to see the list of species which are required or prohibited from being planted.
Heritage and Landmark Trees
Property owners should note that any tree species designed as a “heritage” or “landmark” tree typically requires more approvals than other species. The following species have been designed as such:
Heritage Trees (removal requires Village Board approval)*
- American Elm (36” in diameter or greater)
- Oak (30” or greater)
- Hickory (16” or greater)
- Ironwood (10” or greater)
Landmark Trees (May require approval from the Village Board of Trustees)*
- Bald Cypress (12" or greater)
- Basswood (American Linden) (12" or greater)
- Black Walnut (12" or greater)
- Buckeye (12" or greater)
- Cedar (including Red/White single stem) (12" or greater)
- Dawn Redwood (12" or greater)
- Fir (12" or greater)
- Gingko (male) (12" or greater)
- Hickory (6" or greater)
- Ironwood (6" < 10" in diameter)
- Kentucky Coffeetree (12" or greater)
- Norway Maple (including Schwelder and Crimson King) (12" or greater)
- Oak (8" - 30" in diameter)
- Red Maple (12" or greater)
- Spruce (including Colorado, Green, Norway, White) (12" or greater)
- Sugar Maple (12" or greater)
- White Pine (12" or greater)
*Trees listed under heritage or landmark classification include all genius species, varieties and cultivar.
There are no fees to file a Tree Removal Application; however, tree removals done without obtaining a permit will be subject to a working without a permit fee as outlined in the Village’s annual fee ordinance. Additional fees or replacement fees may be required depending on the tree illegally removed.
Hazardous trees that pose an immediate threat can be removed after regular business hours (7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) without a permit in emergency situations under the condition that you notify the Tree Preservation Officer the following business day and submit a tree removal application that documents the condition of the tree with photos prior to removal.