City Tree Information

Storm Clean-Up Information

City Trees vs. Private Trees

City-owned trees are “street trees” and grow between the curb and sidewalk.  They are the City’s responsibility.  To report a downed or damaged City-owned tree, contact the Leisure Services Department at 563-589-4263 or submit a “Tree Problem” service request here or using the MyDBQ mobile app.

Private trees are trees growing on private property and those trees are the responsibility of the property owner.  For information about finding your property lines, click here to view the Citizen's Guide for Establishing Property Lines.  If a private tree or branches/limbs from a private tree fall onto a street or sidewalk, it is the property owner’s responsibility to dispose of the tree.  If it is blocking traffic, City staff may move it out of the way to allow safe passage of traffic but final disposition of the tree is up to the property owner.
City Forestry
The Park Division has a Forestry Division, which is responsible for the maintenance of city trees.  These are trees located on the public right-of-way, between street and sidewalk or on City of Dubuque property. The City Forester will make determination of the health of a city tree to decide if it warrants removal or is a hazard to the public.  The Forestry Division is also responsible for the cleanup of debris from a city tree - contact the Park Division at 563.589.4263.  During non-office hours, contact emergency dispatch at 563.589.4415 for trees or limbs that are blocking streets. 

Report a City tree problem
Please use the online Tree Problem service request for city trees needing attention.  

Tree causing damage to sidewalk
City trees that may be impacting a homeowner's sidewalk should contact the Sidewalk Inspector in the City Engineering Department at 563-589-4270 or by email to determine responsibility of repair and if tree work is needed. Click here for more information on street tree/sidewalk conflicts.

Private trees / plants / shrubbery / bushes overgrowing onto or in City Right-of-Way:
Any brush/vegetation/ and/or tree limbs hanging above street or sidewalk must be trimmed to 10’ clearance over sidewalk and 14’ over roadways.  Ground level shrubs, bushes, annual plants, perennial plants, and/or other vegetation planted on private property should not grow over or into public right-of-way including the sidewalk, and must not obstruct view of oncoming traffic or traffic signs/lights (if applicable).  City right-of-way, in most places extends 10’ beyond the back of curb.  Obstruction of public right-of-way is prohibited according to the Iowa Code, Section 364.

Tree Planting in City Right-of-Way

Property owners may not plant trees between the curb and sidewalk on public right-of-way. Any trees planted there must be chosen / planted by the City of Dubuque, Leisure Services Department.

1.  If you wish to request a tree be planted in front of your home, in the city right-of-way, you must have at least 4 feet of grass area between curb and sidewalk. Location of utilities, stop signs, stop lights, et cetera will also determine whether a tree may be planted in front of your property.  Tree Planting Request Form

2.  Some funds are available each year for tree planting, with first priority given to replace trees that were removed because of the Street Tree Policy. Remaining funds are used to plant trees requested by citizens, on a first-come, first-served basis, as funds are available.

  50 / 50 TREE SHARE PROGRAM: If funds are not available to cover the entire cost of the tree purchase, citizens may participate in the 50/50 program where citizen pays half the cost and the City pays half the cost of purchasing the tree. 

The Forestry Division is unable to assist with trees on private property. Citizens that observe trees close to power lines should contact Alliant Energy for trimming, including city trees. 

Street Tree and Landscaping on Public Right-of-Way Policy
Please click here to view the policy.

Click here to see a sample diagram of the policy.
Blue Spruce Tree Disease (July 2011)

Rhizosphaera Needle Cast, a disease commonly found on Colorado Blue Spruce trees is invading the tri-states.  Read on for information compiled by City Forester Steve Pregler regarding the disease and how to control the problem.

2011 Urban Forest Evaluation

The City of Dubuque contracted with Confluence to evaluate Dubuque's urban forest.  The company worked several weeks looking at the street tree population and trees within park areas.  Read on for the full evaluation.  This document is large, so it may take time to open.