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Parks and Recreation

Contact Information
Parks & Recreation Department
City Services Center (CSC)
500 15th Avenue SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404
Phone: 319-286-5566
Fax: 319-540-8843
forestry@cedar-rapids.org

Hours

Mon - Fri, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Department Contacts

Permit Application for Tree Planting in the Public Right-of-Way

Watch these videos about choosing and planting a tree produced by Purdue University Extension.

Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree



Tree Planting Part 2: Planting Your Tree 


The Cedar Rapids Municipal Code requires that new street right-of-way and parking lot trees be shade trees (overstory or mid-canopy species) unless overhead utilities do not allow planting of these trees.

Note: The use of trees native to Iowa and the Midwest is recommended wherever possible, particularly in larger yards and public greenspaces. Native trees are adapted to local growing conditions and ecosystems and often perform best over the long run. Most trees native to the Midwest (climate zone 4-5) should also perform well here in Iowa.

The lists below also include many non-native tree species that are adapted well to this area and the stresses of urban environments. Exotic trees that exhibit invasive properties and are known to compete with native species are not included on the list.

The best approach for selecting a tree to plant is to evaluate sunlight, soil volume and quality, water sources, and other physical conditions of the site. Planting success may vary with specific circumstances. These lists are not meant to be all inclusive. Requests to plant trees not included on this list will be handled by the City Arborist on a case by case basis.

Overstory trees: Greater than 1,600 square feet of canopy at maturity
Mid-story/Mid-canopy trees: Approximately 900 square feet of canopy at maturity
Understory and Ornamental trees: Approximately 400 square feet of canopy at maturity
Planting recommendations for specific locations
Evergreen screening trees
Columnar trees for narrow spaces
Trees suitable for flood plains and wet sites
Trees moderate or greater tolerance of aerosol and soil salts
Trees that tolerate partial shade
Trees that tolerate dry conditions
Trees resistant to deer damage
Prohibited trees
Temporarily suspended

Overstory trees, greater than 1,600 square feet of canopy at maturity, typically reach a diameter-at-breast- height in excess of 25 inches and a height in excess of 60 feet at maturity. The spacing requirement for planting is 40 feet on center between both existing and replacement trees. New trees are to be 2 inches  diameter at breast height or 4.5 ft. above grade.Please note: some species may not be permitted on the right-of-way but make fine private trees.

Baldcypress Taxodium distichum  ‘Shawnee Brave’
Catalpa, Northern * Catalpa speciosa  
Dawn Redwood   Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Gold Rush’
Elm, American/ Hybrid Ulmus Americana/Ulmus x ‘New Horizon’, ‘Accolade’
Ginkgo   (male only)         Ginkgo biloba ‘Samurai’, ‘Saratoga’, ’Shangri-la’
Hackberry, Common Celtis occidentalis ‘Prairie Pride’, ‘Chicagoland’
Hickory, Bitternut* Carya cordiformis  
Hickory, Mockernut * Carya tomentosa  
Hickory, Shagbark * Carya ovata  
Honeylocust Gleditsia triacanthos inermis            ‘Northern Acclaim’, ’Trueshade’
Horsechestnut      Aesculus hippocasteana  ‘Baumanii’ (seedless)**
Kentucky Coffeetree  Gymnocladus diocus PrairieTitan’,‘Espresso’(seedless)**
Linden, Silver* Tilia tomentosa ‘Sterling’(Japanese beetle resistant)
Locust, Black Robinia psuedoacacia ‘Chicago Blues’
Maple, Freeman Acer x freemanii   ‘Marmo’, ’Firefall’ (seedless) ***
Maple, Sugar  Acer saccharum  ‘Crescendo’, ‘Flax Mill Majesty’
Oak, Black Quercus velutina  
Oak, Bur*  Quercus macrocarpa  
Oak, MacDaniel’s  Quercus x macdanielli  ‘Heritage’
Oak, Northern Red Quercus rubra  
Oak, Pin* Quercus palustris  
Oak, Swamp White Quercus bicolor  
Oak, White Quercus alba  
Sweetgum Liquidambar styraciflua    ‘Rotundaloba’ (seedless)**
Sycamore Platanus occidentalis  
Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera ‘Emerald City’
Walnut, Black* Juglans nigra  
Zelkova, Japanese Zelkova serrata  ‘Green Vase’, ‘Village Green’,


*These species are not approved for the parkway based on the restricted list for the city or due to recommendations by the Iowa DNR.
**Only this cultivar is approved for the right-of-way.
*** Only these two cultivars of Freeman Maple are allowed. Permission from the city arborist shall be requested prior to planting; approval will be given on a very limited basis.


Mid-canopy trees, approximately 900 square feet of canopy at maturity, typically reach a diameter-at-breast-height of 10-25 inches and a height of 30-60 feet at maturity. The spacing requirement for planting is 40 feet on center between both existing and replacement trees. New trees are to be 2 inches diameter at breast height or 4.5 ft. above grade. Please note: Some species may not be permitted on the right-of-way but make fine private trees.

Alder, Black Alnus glutinosa ‘Pyramidalis’, ’Fastigiata’
Alder, Manchurian Alnus hirsute  ‘Prairie Horizon’
Amur Corktree  Phellodendron amurense   ‘Eyestopper’, ’His Majesty’,
Beech, European* Fagus sylvatica  ‘Cuprea’, ’Asplenifolia’, ‘Riversii’
Birch, River Betula nigra ‘Heritage’, ‘Dura-Heat’
Birch, Yellow Betula alleghaniensis  
Black Gum/Tupelo Nyssa sylvatica ‘Snow Flurries’, ‘Wildfire’
Buckeye                * Aesculus sylvatica ‘Autumn Splendor’
Buckeye, Red * Aesculus pavia  
Buckeye, Ohio* Aesculus glabra   ‘Sunset’
Butternut* Juglans cinerea  
Catalpa, Purple*  Catalpa x erubescens ‘Purpurea’
Elm, Lace Bark Ulmus parvifolia                 ‘Bosque’
Hardy Rubbertree  Eucommia ulmoides  
Hophornbeam, American/Ironwood Ostrya virginiana  
Hornbeam, European Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’, ’Frans Fontaine’
Horsechestnut, Red * Aesculus x carnea  ‘Ft. McNair’, ’Autumn Splendor’
Japanese Pagodatree Sophora japonica               ‘Regent’, ‘Halka’
Katsura tree Cercidiphyllum  japonicum ‘Red Fox’
Linden, American (+),*  Tilia americana   
Linden, Crimean (+),* Tilia x euchlora  
Linden, Littleleaf (+),* Tilia cordata ‘Shamrock’, ’Chancole’
London Planetree Platanus x acerifolia  ‘Exclamation’, ‘Ovation’
Magnolia, Cucumbertree Magnolia acuminata  
Maple, Black  Acer nigrum  
Maple, Miyabe Acer miyabe   ‘State Street’
Oak, Bebb  Quercus x bebbiana  
Oak, Chinkapin Quercus muehlenbergii  
Oak, English* Quercus robur  ‘Regal Prince’, ’Skymaster’
Oak, Hills/Northern Pin Quercus ellipsoidalis  ‘Majestic Skies’
Oak, Sawtooth Quercus acutissima  
Oak, Scarlet Quercus coccinea  
Oak, Shingle Quercus imbricaria  
Oak, Ware’s Quercus x warei ’Chimney Fire’, ‘Nadler’
Turkish Filbert  Corylus colurna  
Yellowwood, American Cladrastis kentukea ‘Perkins Pink’

(+)-Due to excessive defoliation by Japanese beetle, there is a temporary restriction on Linden plantings.  Silver Lindens are allowed with permission of the City Arborist only, due to the resistance of the ‘Sterling’ cultivar.
*These species are not approved for the parkway based on the restricted list for the city or due to recommendations by the Iowa DNR.


Understory trees, approximately 400 square feet of canopy at maturity, typically reach a diameter-at-breast-height of less than 15 inches and a height of less than or equal to 30 feet at maturity. The spacing requirement is a minimum of 40 feet on center, between both existing and replacement trees. These trees are permitted only where site conditions do not allow the planting of overstory or mid-canopy trees. New trees are to be 1 1/2 inches diameter at breast height or 4.5 ft. above grade. These species will also be considered if the width of the parkway is 4 feet wide or less, pending review by the City Arborist. Please note: Some species may not be permitted on the right-of-way but make fine private trees.

American Smoketree   Cotinus obovatus  
Amur Maackia Maackia amurensis ‘Summertime’
Bald Cypress   Taxodium distichum  ’Skyward’**
Crabapple (misc. cultivars)  Malus sp.    ½ inch or smaller, non-pendulous
Dogwood, Flowering* Cornus florida   
Dogwood, Corneliancherry   Cornus mas ‘Golden Glory’
Dogwood, Kousa*  Cornus kousa   
Dogwood, Pagoda*   Cornus alternifolia  
Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba (male only) ‘Chi Chi’**
Goldenraintree  Koelreuteria paniculata    ‘Fastigiata’, September’
Hawthorn, Thornless Cockspur   Crataegus crus-galli inermis  
Hawthorn, Washington*   Crataegus phaenopyrum  
Hawthorn, Winter King Green*  Crataegus viridis    ‘Winter King’
Hoptree/Waferash*  Ptelea trifoliata  
Hornbeam, American. (Musclewood)   Carpinus caroliniana   ‘J.N. Upright’, ‘Palisade’
Lilac, Japanese Tree  Syringa reticulata ssp. reticulata   ‘Ivory Silk’, ‘Summer Snow’
Lilac, Peking (China Snow) Syringa pekinensis  
Linden, Mongolian (+),*  Tilia mongolica   ‘Harvest Gold’
Magnolia, Edith Brogue  Magnolia grandiflora    ‘Edith Brogue’
Magnolia, Sweetbay  Magnolia virginiana  
Maple, Amur  Acer ginnala ‘Flame’, ‘Ruby Slippers’
Maple, Hedge   Acer campestre   ‘Panacek’, ’Evelyn’ 
Maple, Korean Acer pseudosieboldianum  
Maple, Shantung   Acer truncatum    ‘Norwegian Sunset’
Maple, Sugar   Acer saccharum    ‘Sugar Cone’**
Maple Tartarian  Acer tartaricum   ‘Summer Splendor’
Maple, Trident  Acer buergeranum  ‘Aeryn’
Redbud, Eastern  Cercis canadensis ’Rising Sun’
Serviceberry  Amelanchier sp.   ‘Cumulus’,’Snowcloud’
Seven Son Flower* Heptacodium miconoides  
White Fringetree* Chionanthus virginicus  
Zelkova, Japanese Zelkova serrata    ‘Wireless’**

*These species are not approved for the parkway based on the restricted list for the city or due to recommendations by the Iowa DNR.
** Must use this cultivar. Standard species will not be approved.
(+)-Due to excessive defoliation by Japanese beetle, there is a temporary restriction on Linden plantings.


Planting recommendations for specific location
Many trees below also are listed above; some are added because of their suitability for challenging locations. Please note: All previous conditions apply regarding planting on the right-of-way, parking lots and other required landscaping.  Some species may not be permitted on the right-of-way but make fine private trees. These lists include both ornamental and overstory/mid-story species.


Evergreen screening trees
This list is for use in buffer strips and on private property only. As a rule, evergreens require full sun and do not perform well in shade or partial shade.

Arborvitae (White Cedar) Thuja occidentalis ‘Nigra’, ‘Techny’
Fir, Balsam Abies balsamea  
Fir, Concolor/White  Abies concolor  
Fir, Douglas  Pseudotsuga menziesii  
Fir, Fraser Abies fraseri  
Hemlock, Eastern Tsuga canadensis  
Pine, Limber   Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’
Pine, White  Pinus strobus  
Red cedar, Eastern  Juniperus virginiana ‘Canaertii’
Spruce, Norway  Picea abies  
Spruce, Serbian   Picea omorika  
Spruce, White Picea glauca ‘Densata’



Columnar trees for narrow spaces
Canopy heights with columnar form can vary, but canopy width is typically 15-25 feet. Some of these cultivars may not be as hardy as the standard species.

Bald Cypress   Taxodium distichum  ‘Shawnee Brave’, ‘Skyward’
Beech, European Fagus sylvatica ‘Red Obelisk’
Dawn Redwood   Metasequoia glyptostroboides   
Crabapple   Malus sp.  ‘Red Baron’,’Marilee’,‘Pink spires’
Crabapple, Siberian Columnar   Malus baccata ‘Columnari’
Crabapple, Tschonoski   Malus tschonoskii   
Ginkgo (male only) ‘Princeton Sentry’  
Goldenraintree  Koelreuteria paniculata   ‘Fastigiata’
Hackberry, Common Celtis occidentalis    ‘Prairie Sentinel’
Honeylocust   Gleditsia triacanthos inermis     ‘Street Keeper’
Hornbeam, European  Carpinus betulus   ‘Fastigiata’ 
Linden, Littleleaf  Tilia cordata   ‘Corinthian’
Maple, Black   Acer nigrum   ‘Green Column’
Maple, Sugar   Acer saccharum     ‘Endowment’
Oak, Bur   Quercus macrocarpa   ‘Urban Pinnacle’
Oak, English  Quercus robur   ‘Rose Hill’, Regal Prince’, 
Oak, English/White  Quercus bimundorum   ‘Crimson Spire’
Oak, Pin Quercus palustris ‘Green Pillar’
Oak, Ware’s  Quercus x warei   ‘Regal Prince’, ’Chimney Fire’
Sweetgum   Liquidambar styraciflua     ‘Emerald Sentinel’, ’Happidaze’
Tulip Tree  Liriodendron tulipifera                      ‘Fastigiatum’
Zelkova, Japanese Zelkova serrata   ‘Musashino’



Trees suitable for flood plains and wet sites
These species have variable degrees of tolerance to wet soils, from occasional pooling of water to regular flooding for a few days.  See categories above for size of tree.

Alder, Red   Alnus rubra
Bald Cypress  Taxodium distichum 
Birch, River  Betula nigra 
Blackgum, Tupelo  Nyssa sylvatica, Nyssa aquatica 
Buckeye, Ohio  Aesculus glabra 
Dawn Redwood  Metasequoia glyptostroboides 
Dogwood, Pagoda   Cornus alternifolia
Elm, Hybrid American  Ulmus americana   
Hackberry, Common  Celtis occidentalis  
Hornbeam, American. (Musclewood)  Carpinus caroilniana 
Kentucky Coffeetree  Gymnocladus diocus  
Linden, American    Tilia americana  
Maple, Amur  Acer ginnala
Oak, Bur   Quercus macrocarpa 
Oak, Swamp White  Quercus bicolor 
Redbud, Eastern  Cercis canadensis 
Serviceberry  Amelanchier sp.
Sweetbay Magnolia  Magnolia virginiana 
Sweetgum   Liquidambar styraciflua   
Sycamore  Platanus occidentalis
  


Trees moderate or greater tolerance of aerosol and soil salts
See categories above for size of tree. Cultivars noted are tolerant. Otherwise, the species is tolerant.

Amur Maackia Maackia amurensis  
Bald Cypress   Taxodium distichum   
Blackgum, Tupelo  Nyssa sylvatica, Nyssa aquatica   
Catalpa, Northern  Catalpa speciosa  
Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba (male only)  
Goldenraintree  Koelreuteria paniculata    
Hackberry, Common  Celtis occidentalis   
Hardy Rubbertree   Eucommia ulmoides  
Honeylocust         Gleditsia triacanthos inermis             
Horsechestnut  Aesculus hippocasteana   ‘Baumanii’ (seedless)
Kentucky Coffeetree   Gymnocladus diocus   
Lilac, Japanese Tree  Syringa reticulata ssp. reticulata  ‘Ivory Silk’, ‘Summer Snow’
Lilac, China Snow Peking   Syringa pekinensis  
Locust, Black Robinia psuedoacacia   
London Planetree  Platanus x acerifolia    
Maple, Hedge   Acer campestre   
Maple, Miyabe  Acer miyabe    
Oak, Bur   Quercus macrocarpa   
Oak, English  Quercus robur   
Oak, MacDaniel’s   Quercus x macdanielli    
Oak, Sawtooth Quercus acutissima  
Oak, Swamp White  Quercus bicolor   
Oak, White  Quercus alba   
Red cedar, Eastern  Juniperus virginiana   
Serviceberry  Amelanchier sp.   
Spruce, Serbian   Picea omorika  
Spruce, White Picea glauca   
Sycamore Platanus occidentalis   
Walnut, Black  Juglans nigra  
Zelkova, Japanese Zelkova serrata   ‘Village Green’
 


Trees that tolerate partial shade
Listed by genus unless noted. See categories above for size of tree.

Hornbeam, American. (Musclewood)   Carpinus caroliniana
Hophornbeam, American / Ironwood Ostrya virginiana 
Amur Maackia Maackia amurensis 
Birch, River  Betula nigra
Buckeye Aesculus sp. 
Dogwood  Cornus sp.
Hornbeam, American/Musclewood   Carpinus caroliniana
Maple, Amur  Acer ginnala
Redbud, Eastern  Cercis canadensis
Serviceberry  Amelanchier sp.



Trees that tolerate dry conditions
Listed by genus unless noted. See categories above for size of tree.

Catalpa, Northern  Catalpa speciosa  
Elm, American/ Hybrid Ulmus Americana/Ulmus x  
Hackberry, Common  Celtis occidentalis   
Hawthorn Crataegus sp.  
Honeylocust         Gleditsia triacanthos inermis           
Hophornbeam, American / Ironwood Ostrya virginiana   
Kentucky Coffeetree   Gymnocladus diocus   
Locust, Black Robinia psuedoacacia   
Maple, Amur  Acer ginnala  
Maple, Freeman Acer x freemanii    ‘Autumn Blaze’
Oak, Bur   Quercus macrocarpa   
Oak, Chinkapin Quercus muehlenbergii   
Oak, Hills/Northern Pin Quercus ellipsoidalis  
  


Trees resistant to deer damage
It is important to note that “resistant to” does not mean “immune to”. If deer are hungry enough, they will feed on these species. Deer will “rub” any species of tree.

Elm, American/ Hybrid Ulmus Americana/Ulmus x
Ginkgo (male only)   Ginkgo biloba
Hawthorn Crataegus sp.
Honeylocust         Gleditsia triacanthos inermis           
Kentucky Coffeetree   Gymnocladus diocus 
Locust, Black Robinia psuedoacacia 
Magnolia Magnolia sp.
Maple Acer sp.
Oak Quercus sp.
Tulip Tree  Liriodendron tulipifera


Restricted Planting Lists

Prohibited trees
The following classes and types of trees shall not be planted on the right-of-way or as part of required landscaping.  With the exception of Red Maple, it is recommended that any specific Genus/species listed below also not be planted on private property.

Ash (All species and cultivars)  Fraxinus sp.
Austree  Salix alba x matsudana 
Birch, White/Paper Betula  papyrifera
Boxelder   Acer negundo 
Conifers (evergreen species)   
Cottonwood Populus deltoides
Elm, Siberian  Ulmus pumila 
Empress Tree/Princess Tree  Paulownia tomentosa
Fruit and Nut trees over 1" (walnut, apple, etc.) 
Maple, Red (All hybrids and cultivars) Acer rubrum 
Maple, Silver (All hybrids and cultivars) Acer saccharinum
Mountainash Sorbus Americana
Mulberry (All species and cultivars)   Morus sp.
Multi-Stem/Clump Form Trees  
Pear (All species and cultivars) Pyrus sp.
Poplar (All species and cultivars) Populus sp.
Russian Olive Elaeagnus angustifolia
Tree of Heaven  Ailanthus altissima 
Trees with thorns on the main stem or lower canopy  
Willow (All species and cultivars) Salix sp.
Woody, bushy shrubs   


Planting of the following species is temporarily suspended in the public row
Contact the City Arborist for more information on this moratorium.

Catalpa (All species and cultivars) Catalpa sp.
Linden (All species and cultivars) Tilia sp.
Oak, Pin Quercus palustris

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