Removing & Trimming Trees

Tree Maintenance

Normal spends thousands of dollars each year in tree planting and maintenance efforts. In order to protect this investment we want to work with residents when they feel there is a need to remove or trim a tree rooted in public property. In order to work with residents, a Permit [PDF] is required before removing or significantly trimming any tree or shrub located on public property in Normal.

If a tree is rooted on private property no permit is needed to trim or remove the tree. Trees and shrubs on private property must simply be maintained in a manner that will not interfere with visibility and access on roads and sidewalks and also must not pose any safety hazards.

How Do I Determine If a Tree in My Yard is on Public or Private Property?

If you are unsure if the property is public or private, please call our Parks and Recreation Department at 454-9540 and they can assist you with that determination. Remember, in most instances the property closest to the street, or between the sidewalk and street, is public property. Also, most of the property directly adjacent to the Constitution Trial is publicly owned. The width of Town owned property varies along the trail, so if you are not sure of ownership, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department.

What Trimming is Allowed on Trees Rooted in Public Property Without Obtaining a Permit?

Minor trimming of branches that are less than one inch in diameter is permitted as long as you are not removing more than one-third of the trees foliage. If you wish to trim a branch that is larger than one inch in diameter or if you wish to trim more than one-third of the foliage you will need to obtain a permit.

What Are the Penalties for Violating This Ordinance or Failing to Obtain a Permit?

Violators can be fined between $50 and $500 and may also be required to reimburse the Town for the value of the tree or shrub that was removed or damaged.