Tree Trimming & Planting Service Requests
The Bureau of Forestry of the Department of Streets and Sanitation is responsible for maintaining our urban forest–Chicago’s half-a-million or so parkway trees. The Bureau of Forestry also coordinates the planting of new parkways trees when funds are available and removes about 7,000 dead or damaged trees annually, grinding their branches into wood chips which are sold or used on playgrounds and vacant lots. City foresters also administer the tree provisions of the City of Chicago’s Landscape Ordinance.
While parkway trees are generally trimmed on a six-year cycle, you may make request a specific trim location through 311. Please note that due to the City’s financial condition tree trimming is about 24 months behind. From 2009 to 2012, there were only about ten crews for the entire city which led to the backlog, but in 2013 the City was able to add several more crews.
Residents may also request a tree to be planted in their front parkways (if room allows, see Tree Trimming & Planting Guidelines) or for a tree to be inspected if dead or diseased. If deemed more than half-dead, the City will have a tree removed (and stump ground down) but otherwise healthy trees are not removed. As the backlog on tree planting is several years, homeowners may choose to plant a tree in their parkway at their own expense–see procedures.
Common Tree Diseases & Pests
Maple Trees — Powdery Mildew
Maple Trees — Tar Spots
Elm Trees — Dutch Elm Disease
Ash Trees — Emerald Ash Borer