Trees are one of Chicago's most important natural resources. They provide beauty, shade and help to clean the air. But like any natural resource in an urban setting, they need care. Chicago has more than 500,000 parkway trees and each is maintained by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Bureau of Forestry.
The Bureau of Forestry trims thousands of trees a year, plants new trees along the public right-of-way, addresses insect and disease problems, and otherwise promotes tree health throughout the City of Chicago.
The Bureau of Forestry also responds to tree emergencies in the public way at all hours.
The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, Bureau of Forestry works in cooperation with the US Forest Service and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Care of the Chicago Public Way
Chicago's streets play an important role in the livability, vitality, and character of our neighborhoods and commercial areas. Many improvements in the public way are installed by private developments as part of the requirement for new buildings and major rehabilitation projects thus the responsibility is binding on the developers and subsequent property owners or any other parties having a controlling interest in the property.
City of Chicago Standard Tree Protection Instructions
The objective of the City of Chicago’s Tree Protection requirements is to minimize the negative impacts of construction activities on street trees.
Dead or Damaged Trees
The Bureau of Forestry coordinates the removal of parkway or trees in the public way that are dead or damaged.
Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic beetle from Asia that was discovered feeding on ash (Fraxinus sp.) trees in southeastern Michigan in 2002.
Forestry Permit Application
The Bureau of Forestry issues permits for any work involving trees. This requires the following information for permit issuance.
Since 1991, the City of Chicago has required developers to include landscaping in their building plans to beautify property and screen the perimeters of parking lots, loading docks and other vehicular use areas.
To Nominate Tree of the Year
Each year 10 lesser known trees are highlighted to increase usage and promote species diversity.
The Bureau of Forestry plants trees along the public way throughout the City of Chicago.