Parkway Trees - Removal and Replacement by the City

The City of Naperville’s Tree Replacement Program is an affordable way to help keep Naperville’s neighborhoods safe and beautiful while maintaining our community’s quality of life. During the 2018 budget process, the tree replacement budget was reduced to help contain General Fund cost increases. As a result, the City has implemented a 50/50 cost share program to maintain the urban forest level and keep the budget consistent. This program is available to residents who have had a parkway tree removed within the past 12 months along the frontage of their property and provides one replacement tree for each that was removed in the past year, if there is space.

Cost Share Explained

The Tree Replacement Cost Share Program is only available to residents who have had a parkway tree removed within the past 12 months along the frontage of their property and provides one replacement tree for each that was removed in the past year, if there is space. The City handles the tree replacement process and shares the cost of the replacement tree with the property owner. Property owners are required to pay $165, which is half of the $330 the City pays for a new tree. The fee includes delivery, planting and a one-year tree warranty. There is no cost to the property owner for removal or stump grinding.

How did my tree become part of the City’s cost share program?

Parkway trees are routinely inspected by the Department of Public Works. After inspection, it was determined that the tree needed to be removed and replaced.

Am I required to replace my tree?

According to Chapter 10, Section 5-10-3 (Landscaping and Screening) of the Naperville Municipal Code, property owners are responsible for maintenance, repair and replacement of dead or dying required landscape and, as such, must participate in the tree replacement program. Property owners are contacted via mail with information about the cost share program and given an option to help choose the replacement tree. Property owners who did not respond to initial requests were assigned a tree by the Department of Public Works and are still required to pay the cost-share portion of the tree. Please contact the Department of Public Works at (630) 420-6095 with questions or concerns about parkway tree(s) removal and replacement.

When will payment be expected?

The property owner will be billed for their portion of the tree replacement once the new parkway tree has been planted. Please contact the City’s Finance Department at (630) 420-6059 for billing questions/concerns.

What if I move prior to the tree being replaced?

The owner of the property at the time of billing is responsible for payment of the bill. If you move prior to issuance of the bill, the new property owner will be responsible for payment. Due to delays in updating property ownership records, you may receive a bill for a property that has been sold. If that is the case, please contact the Finance Department with information about the new property owner so we can update our records and send the bill to the new property owner.

Tree Replacement Explained

The City will contact the property owner by door tag with details when a tree(s) has been selected for replacement. The City will send a letter approximately one month before the indicated planting season with more detailed information regarding tree selection and billing information. There is no notice of progress or completion.

The Process

  1. Inspection - Trees will be inspected by a City of Naperville, ISA Certified Arborist. If removal is necessary, the inspecting arborist will contact the property owner. The tree is placed on the removal waiting list.
  2. Removal - The tree will be cut semi-flush to the ground by a DPW crew or contractor. All brush and debris will be hauled away.
  3. Grinding - The stump will be removed before the new tree is planted. Before removal, it may be marked with a flag. The City will coordinate JULIE locates to identify any buried utilities. A stump grinder will grind up the stump and any large roots. The excess woodchips will be removed.
  4. Restoration - Top soil and grass seed will be used to restore the area where the stump was ground.
  5. Selection - The property owner will receive a packet of information in the mail that includes a selection postcard and instructions on how to make a tree selection online. The property owner must return the postcard by mail or follow instructions to make a selection online. If the postcard is not returned nor a selection made online, the City will choose the replacement species and the property owner will receive a bill for 50% of the replacement fee.
  6. Planting - The property owner is responsible for marking the desired planting location. The planting contractor will JULIE locate the site prior to planting. Spring planting locations must be marked by April 1. Fall planting locations must be marked by September 1. If the preferred location is not marked, the City will choose the location of the replacement tree(s).
  7. Payment – The property owner will be billed by mail for their portion of the tree replacement once the new parkway tree has been planted. Please contact the City’s Finance Department at (630) 420-6059 with billing questions/concerns.

What trees will be replaced?

If a tree is removed and there is sufficient growing space both below and above ground, then the tree will be replaced.  

Naperville’s planting standards require parkway trees to be:

  • 30 to 40 feet from other parkway trees
  • 10 feet from driveways, alleys, fire hydrants, or utility poles
  • 5 feet from gas, water, electric, communication, and sewer lines
  • 30 feet from corner property lines
  • Centered between curb and sidewalk

Who chooses the replacement tree?

Trees in front of single or multi-family homes can be chosen by the property owner. Trees in front of apartments, businesses, along medians or behind properties are chosen by the Department of Public Works.

What species are available?

Species options are determined for each site from a number of factors:

  • Unique site requirements (e.g. overhead power lines)
  • Species diversity requirements
  • Planting season (some trees can only be planted in the spring)
  • Availability from the nursery
  • Tree selections are available to view in the Spring 2022 Parkway Tree Species Guide (PDF)

When will my tree be planted?

  • Trees are planted twice a year, spring and fall.  Your tree will be planted during the next available planting season.
    • Spring Planting-Late April through early May.
    • Fall Planting-October through November

Can I request a certain date for the replacement of my tree?

Trees are replaced within 12 months of removal with plantings taking place each spring and fall. If it is necessary for the tree to be planted during a specific season, please indicate so on the replacement tree postcard or during the online selection process. Efforts will be made to accommodate needs, but not guaranteed.

Can I replace the tree on my own?

Parkway trees are planted based on a list of approved trees, planting directions and guidelines. These guidelines help to ensure tree diversity throughout the city, that appropriate and healthy trees are planted and to prevent future traffic visibility problems. For this reason, parkway trees removed as part of the tree replacement cost share program must be replaced through the program by the City of Naperville and not a property owner or private contractor.

I have sprinklers in the parkway, will this be a problem?

Sprinklers are technically not permitted to be placed in the parkway. The City and its contractors will make reasonable efforts to avoid damaging sprinkler systems that may be located in this area; however, the City and/or contractor will not be responsible if the sprinkler is damaged.

Who calls JULIE?

Under Illinois law, the person doing the digging is responsible for contacting JULIE for locates at least 48 hours prior to the start of work.

Post-Planting Homeowner Responsibilities

As a property owner, your responsibility to the tree does not end once it has been planted. Post-planting care is critical in the first 3 years after planting. Proper watering during the growing season, mulching and trunk protection are some of the key components of after-planting care. Please refer to the US Forest Service's Tree Owner’s Manual for detailed information on post planting care.

Should I stake my tree?

Staking is usually unnecessary. If the tree starts leaning from a storm or wind, the City will stake the tree. The resident should remove these in one year to avoid trunk girdling.

My brand new tree has already died, what now?

Please call the Department of Public Works at (630) 420-6095 to report this. The trees are under warranty from the nursery for a one year period. The City will have your tree replaced as soon as possible.