Tree Planting

Tree Planting on City of Waterloo Owned Property

Planting trees on public property in Waterloo is an important part of maintaining and improving our urban forest. In many neighborhoods, the lots do not provide sufficient space to support trees. In such instances, plantings located on public property provide a majority of the overstory vegetation.

The City of Waterloo Leisure Services Department encourages property owners to plant trees on the City owned right of way between the sidewalk and the street. If you choose to plant a tree in this area you must “plant the right tree, in the right place”.

The following guidelines will help prevent future maintenance problems and reduce potential hazards.

  1. Notify the City Forester: City Code 7-5-3(a) requires a property owner to receive a permit from the City Forester before a tree is planted on public property. The City Forester will determine the best location for the planting and advise as to the suitability of the proposed variety.
  2. Locate All Buried Utilities: It is the responsibility of the person planting the tree to locate all buried utilities.
    (Iowa One Call phone #: 1-800-292-8989)
  3. Prohibited Species and Varieties: The following varieties are prohibited for use on city streets in Waterloo due to hazardous thorns, weak wood, messy fruit, susceptibility to disease or insects, or undesirable growth habits:
    Ash - Fraxinus species
    Cottonwoods - Populus deltoides
    Poplars - Populus species
    Silver Maples - Acer saccharinum
    Boxelders - Acer negundo
    American Elms - Ulmus americana
    Chinese Elms - Ulmus parvifulia
    Siberian Elms - Ulmus pumila
    Hawthornes - Crataegus species (Except thornless varieties)
    Locusts - Gleditsia triacanthos & Robinia pseudacacia
    (Except thornless & seedless varieties)
    Gingkos (female) - Gingko biloba
    Russian Olives - Elaeagnus angustifolia
    Firs - Abies species
    Junipers - Juniperus species
    Larches - Larix species
    Spruce - Picea species
    Pines - Pinus species
    Douglas Fir - Pseudotsuga species
    Arborvitae - Taxus species
    Yews - Thuja species
    Hemlocks - Tsuga species
    White Birch - Betula papyrifera
    Pin Oaks - Quercus palustris
    Willows - Salix species (includes Austree)
    Catalpas - Catalpa speciosa

    Note: This list may be updated anytime

  4. Recommended Trees: The following varieties are just a few recommendations for
    trees to plant on city owned right of way. They show hardiness to Waterloo’s climate (Waterloo is in hardiness zone 4), display favorable characteristics, and are generally available at local nurseries.

    Street Trees
    Freeman maple - Acer X freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’
    Norway maple - Acer platanoides ‘Emerald Lustre’
    Red maple - Acer rubrum ‘Autumn Flame’
    Sugar maple - Acer saccharum
    Hackberry - Celtis occidentalis
    Gingko (Male) - Gingko biloba
    Thornless honeylocust - Gleditisia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Shademaster’
    Callary pear - Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’
    Swamp White Oak - Quercus bicolor
    Red Oak - Quercus rubra
    American Linden - Tilia americana ‘Redmond’
    Littleleaf Linden - Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’

    Low-growing Trees
    Amur maple(single trunk) - Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala
    Thornless cockspur hawthorn - Crataegus crusgalli var. inermis
    Amur maackia - Maackia amurensis
    Flowering crabapple - Malus sp. ‘Adams’ or ‘Prairifire’
    Japanese tree lilac - Syringa reticulata

Approval must be obtained to plant these trees from the City Forester even if the trees you want to plant are listed here. Also, there are many more varieties of trees that may be allowed that are not listed here.