Trimming and Removing Trees in Right-of-Way

City Ordinance

In April 2015, the Johnston City Council adopted changes to Ordinance 926, which details where trees can and cannot be planted in the city right-of-way. The standards were adopted by the National Arbor Day Foundation and recommended by the Johnston Tree Board. 

Notable changes to the policy include: 

  • Trees shall be planted no closer than three feet to the sidewalk or other impervious surfaces such as the curb or gutter
  • A permit must now be obtained prior to planting any tree in the public right-of-way. 

City staff will assist with the selection of tree species if the site meets all requirements. This permit can now be obtained at the Johnston Public Works office, located at 6400 NW Beaver Drive, during normal business hours.

Trimming trees

The City of Johnston requires trees in the right-of-way to be trimmed to a height of 8-feet above the sidewalk and trails and 14-feet above the roadway. To ensure the safety of our community, the Johnston Parks Department trims trees from February through April. The service is at no cost to the adjoining property owner. The Parks Department will provide notice to the property owners when the trees are to be trimmed. The city has the right to trim other branches to shape the tree or those that may cause a clearance problem in the future. 

Chapter 150 of the Johnston City Code details the duty to trim trees, disease control, street tree planting standards, inspection and removal and the prohibition of tree topping.

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Locations of the trimming from February - April

  • Biscayne Drive and Laguna Drive - off Newport Vista and 100th
  • NW 97th Street from Windsor Parkway - north to the dead end
  • Windsor Parkway from NW 94th Street to NW 86th Street
  • Charles Dickens Court, Jules Verne Court and Lewis Carrol Court - north of the Library off Morningside Drive in Johnston Commons
  • Garrison Court off Northglenn Way and south of NW 70th Avenue 
  • Northglenn Drive-  west side in front of Brownstones “row houses”

Tree Removal and Hazards

The Johnston Parks Department is marking trees in the right of way that are dead or damaged. Before marking the tree, they will make an effort to talk with the property owner. If the trees are marked, they must be removed because they are a hazard to the community. The removal is at no cost to the property owner. 

The trees are marked with a yellow paper indicating the week the tree will be removed. Trees could be removed for various reasons, including a split on the main trunk and the majority of the tree is dead due to infestation.

If there is a tree on your property marked for removal and you have questions, please contact the Johnston Parks Department at 515-727-8091. 

Parks Dept_Tree Removal Notices_Ben applying notice
Parks Dept_Tree Removal Notices_Ben and Clayton wrapping tree