Trees are one of Chicago's most important natural resources. They provide beauty, cool temperatures in the summer months, help to clean the air, and most importantly, they are vital to our fight against climate change.
One of the ways we are carrying out our Climate Action Plan here in Chicago is through the Our Roots Chicago project. Our goal is to expand the tree canopy in Chicago through an equitable approach to every neighborhood in Chicago leaving no neighborhood behind.
Our goal is to plant 75,000 new trees in the city of Chicago, and we want you to be a part of it so we can create a sustainable tomorrow by making an impact today.
Want to get involved? Call 311 or download the CHI311 app to request that the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) Bureau of Forestry plant a parkway tree.
Chicago has more than 500,000 parkway trees and each is maintained by the DSS Bureau of Forestry. In addition to planting parkway trees, the DSS Bureau of Forestry trims thousands of trees a year, addresses insect and disease problems, and otherwise promotes tree health throughout Chicago. DSS Bureau of Forestry crews also respond to tree emergencies in the public way at all hours.
The DSS 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.