One of the seven functions of the Street Department is to be responsible for the City's Urban Forestry Program. If you would like to plant, remove, or maintain trees or shrubs in City rights-of-way, please complete and submit this application. As part of the Urban Forestry Program the Street Department maintains a Leaf and Brush Removal Service for City lots.
Landscaping, Shrub and Tree Planting and Removal Policy
Approved by resolution of the City Council on October 16, 2012.
This policy is intended to regulate the planting and removal of landscaping, shrubs and trees within public street rights-of-way in the City, and to preserve, protect and enhance valuable resources entrusted to its citizens. To protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, to establish standards limiting the removal of, and insuring the replacement of landscaping, shrubs and trees sufficient to safeguard the ecological and aesthetic environment necessary for the City. To provide protective regulations against hazardous trees and diseased trees or shrubs; to control activities relative to trees and plantings within the public street rights-of-way of the City; to establish regulations and procedures for the planting and/or removal of landscaping, shrubs or trees located on public street rights-of-way.
The tree canopy contributes to the visual character of the city and trees are important natural resources and assets of the City. Therefore, every effort must be made to ensure that only the minimum numbers of trees are removed prior to construction of new structures, or alterations/additions to existing structures and in other approved circumstances. It is the intent of this chapter that a permit should not be granted for the removal of a tree where a reasonable alternative design solution exists that is consistent with the use of the property.
It is the policy of the City to remove trees and shrubs in the right-of-way which are diseased, dead, or a threat to public safety. Such trees and shrubs shall be removed by the City or its agent during a schedule of the City's choice and is subject to funding availability. Stumps generated from the removal of said trees and shrubs shall likewise be removed.
Final determination as to whether a tree or shrub is diseased, dead or a threat to public safety shall be made by the City Manager or designated personnel. Please contact Tony Ashbaugh at 269-469-2781 to report a tree in the right-of-way which is diseased, dead, or a threat to public safety.
The City, or contractor for the City, may plant trees and shrubs in the right-of-way, at the direction of the City Manager or designated personnel, in accordance with the criteria below.
Trees and shrubs planted in the right-of-way shall be of native species.
Wherever overhead utility lines are present, trees or shrubs planted in the right-of-way must be of a species with a mature growth height that is not expected to generate limbs which, if separated from the tree, would likely cause damage to those overhead utility lines.
A permit is required and the application is available at City Hall or online at cityofnewbuffalo.org.
Recommended Native Tree Species
In addition to native shrubs, native tree species suitable to be planted under utility lines include:
[* Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) includes various native Hawthorns, such as:
Here is a list of other tree species native to Berrien County. These species grow too tall to be placed under utility lines, but they could be planted in other locations:
- Beech, American (Fagus grandifolia)
- Birch, Paper (Betula papyrifera)
- Birch, River (Betula nigra)
- Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica)
- Cedar, Eastern Red (Juniperus virginiana)
- Cedar, Northern White/ Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
- Cherry, Black (Prunus serotina)
- Hackberry, Common (Celtis occidentalis)
- Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
- Hop-Hornbeam/ Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
- Linden/ Basswood (Tilia americana)
- Maple, Red (Acer rubrum)
- Maple, Sugar (Acer saccharum)
- Oak, Bur (Quercus macrocarpa)
- Oak, Chinkapin (Quercus muehlenbergii)
- Oak, Pin (Quercus palustris)
- Oak, Red (Quercus rubra)
- Oak, Swamp White (Quercus bicolor)
- Oak, White (Quercus alba)
- Pine, Red (Pinus resinosa)
- Pine, White (Pinus strobes)
- Tulip Tree/ Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Please note that some native tree species are not included on the list above due to known tree disease problems (elm,) tree pest problems (ash,) for being poisonous (chokecherry, Kentucky Coffeetree,) and for other problems.
This page last updated on 4/15/2016.