Parkway Tree Planting Standards

Section 62-294 78-4, 78-5, and 78-6 in the Wheaton City Code and Section 6.5.3 of the Wheaton Zoning Ordinance

In order to provide for the orderly development of the City, the following planting standards have been established to outline where trees and shrubs may or may not be located and to provide a description of actual planting procedures.


    The purpose of this document is to set forth rules and procedures established by the City of Wheaton to implement the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, as revised (P.A. 096-0558, effective January 1, 2010, Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 5, Act 140, hereinafter the “Act”). The City of Wheaton Policy Governing Access to Public Records (hereinafter known as “Policy”) creates a procedure by which the public may request and obtain public records in conformance with the Act.
    1. All trees planted by permit holders within the parkway areas must have a minimum trunk diameter of two inches. Diameters shall be as measured 6 inches above finish grade. All trees must be first-grade nursery stock with straight trunks and full, well-developed crowns.
    2. Ash, Black Cherry, Black Locust, Box Elder, Buckthorn, Callery Pear, Cottonwood, Evergreens (Arborvitae, Fir, Hemlock, Juniper, Pine, Spruce, Yew), Fruit Trees (Apple, Peach, Pear, Plum, etc.), Ginkgo (Female), Hawthorn (with thorns), Mulberry, Osage Orange, Poplar, Russian Olive, Siberian Elm, Silver Maple, Sumac, Tree of Heaven, Walnut, Willow, shrubs or hedges shall not be planted in City of Wheaton right-of-ways.
    3. The permit holder shall prepare a landscaping/planting plan for approval by the Director of Engineering, City Planner, and City Forestry Superintendent indicating the proposed location and variety of parkway trees to be planted. The plan shall mix varieties throughout the development using the list of species, attached as Exhibit A, to provide for a natural and orderly streetscape. Same species cannot be planted on adjoining lots and no more than 15% of the same species may be planted within a development or on any block. No two (2) trees of the same species shall be planted next to one another.
    1. Trees in the parkways shall be spaced approximately 30 feet apart. A minimum of one tree per lot, two on corner lots shall be provided in all new subdivisions.
    2. Trees in the parkway shall not be planted within 10 feet of alleyways, utility poles, or street lights, or within 5 feet of driveways, fire hydrants, or utility service lines.
    3. No hedge, shrub, evergreen or parkway tree shall be planted or maintained within 30 feet of the right-of-way corner to a height greater than 3 feet above the centerline elevation of the adjacent street.
    1. Trees within the parkway or within private property shall not be planted closer than 30 feet from the property corner adjacent to the street intersection.
    2. Evergreens, shrubs or hedges on private property within 30 feet of the property corner adjacent to the street intersection shall not exceed a height of 3 feet above the centerline of either street.
    1. Normal location of trees shall be centered in the parkway between the street and sidewalk.
    2. Placement and location of street trees in parkways less than 8 feet in width as measured between the sidewalk and curb or edge of pavement; or 14 feet between the property line and curb or edge of pavement shall be subject to the City Engineer’s approval.
    3. The City Engineer may vary the location, by planting trees on private property behind the sidewalk or at other locations as deemed necessary.
    1. Trees exceeding 20 feet in height at maturity shall not be planted under overhead utility lines.
    1. Required minimum clearance over sidewalks is 8 feet, and over the street, 14 feet. This shall be considered when selecting, locating, and planting the trees.
    1. The permit holder shall assume all responsibility for damage to utilities for trees and shrubs which are planted over any utilities or within utility easements.

It is the responsibility of the permit holder to notify J.U.L.I.E (1-800-892-0123) for underground cable or conduit locations prior to excavating in a parkway or easement.


    Balled and Burlapped (minimum 2” diameter)

    Planting hole is to be 2 times the ball diameter. Top of root ball should be left 2” above grade. All twine, burlap and wire basket should be removed. Backfill is to be tamped to eliminate any air gaps in the soil. Tree should be watered and mulched. Mulch is not to be piled on trunk of the tree.
    1. Pruning shall be done in such a manner as to preserve the natural growth habits of each plant. All newly planted trees shall be pruned in a method and location of which shall meet the approval of the City Engineer and Wheaton Forestry Superintendent. All pruning shall be done with sharp tools in accordance with the best horticultural practices.
    2. The ends of all broken and damaged roots of 1/4 inch or larger shall be pruned with a clean cut, removing only the injured portion. All broken branches, stubs, and improper cuts of former pruning shall be removed.
    3. Pruning shall consist of thinning the twigs or branches as dictated by the habit of growth of the various types of trees to be pruned, and as directed by the City Engineer and Wheaton Forestry Superintendent. The leader and terminal buds shall not be cut unless directed by the City Forester.
    4. The purpose of the pruning is to provide a natural growth habit and balance between the root system and crown of the tree based on the best horticultural practices.
    1. All new trees shall be securely staked or guyed until the roots become established. Guys shall have indicator tapes placed on them to prevent accidents.
    2. New trees are to be watered approximately once a week during the growing season for the first two years. Written instructions to each homeowner shall be supplied by the developer. If the lot is unoccupied, the developer or owner shall take on this responsibility.

Revised 6/12/2023