Trees are an important component of any landscape, and urban tree management can help protect and promote public health and safety, and improve the aesthetic qualities of our community.

City Code

Chapter 12.40, Trees, is designed to reduce wind turbulence, heat and and noise; to prevent erosion and reduce stormwater runoff; to protect private and public property and car and pedestrian rights-of-way; and to promote aesthetic quality and otherwise create a pleasant community environment. 

Following are a few important items to consider regarding trees in your landscape, especially those in the public right-of-way, that part of the street between the lot line and the curbline:

  1. There is an "approved tree list" to promote the diversification of tree species within the city. The goal is that no single tree exceeds ten percent of the right-of-way tree total along any given street.
  2. There are guidelines in the code for planting trees in the right-of-way, visit the code for details.
  3. A right-of-way permit from the Public Works Department is required prior to planting or removing any tree within the public right-of-way.
  4. Residential and commercial developments are required to submit a right-of-way tree plan for the right-of-way adjacent to the development. 

Iowa Tree Planting Guide

Maintaining Right-of-Way Trees

The property owner/tenant that has trees in the right-of-way is responsible for the maintenance of those trees including keeping the trees trimmed so that all branches are at least 15 feet above the surface of the street and 8 feet above sidewalks. 

Please note: If there is a state or federal government state of emergency declaration for the city of Oskaloosa, the city will trim or remove damaged right-of-way trees. In absence of an emergency declaration, it is the responsibility of the property owner/tenant to trim or removed damaged right-of-way trees.

If the property owner/tenant fails to trim the trees in the right-of-way, the city may do so and assess the costs against the property.

What is Emerald Ash Borer?

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a metallic-green beetle native to Asia. The EAB larva tunnels through the tree cutting off the ability to transport nutrients which ultimately kills the ash tree. To learn more about the emerald ash borer, the following websites offer helpful information:

EAB Information
EAB Iowa State Extension
EAB Iowa Department of Natural Resources