Greeley has a long, rich heritage of tree-lined streets. One of Nathan Meeker’s first major community focus efforts was to ensure that residents planted trees along their streets. Originally, many streets in Greeley carried tree names. Today, over a hundred years later, street trees and their conditions are a concern to those involved in urban forestry. The City of Greeley has the authority and obligation to assure that vegetation planted on public rights-of-way meets certain standards. Tree plantings should be made with the same methodical planning that is used when making financial investments.
Tree planting is a significant, long-term investment in your property and the entire community. That investment should compliment your home and increase in value over time. Fast-growing trees, conifers, shrubs and other unsuitable plants, when planted on public rights-of-way, become major maintenance headaches for homeowners and city staff and actually create a negative value to the property. The Forestry Program directive and intent is to promote the traditional street tree plantings on rights-of-way with proper species, alignment and spacings. Please restrict unsuitable rights-of-way plantings to private property. It is not our intent to limit freedom of choice in plantings but instead to mold and influence the future of Greeley’s urban forest for future generations. We are glad to provide homeowners with information and expertise to assure wise choices.
Landscaping on public right-of-way is a privilege extended to Greeley residents by the City; however, that privilege carries with it the responsibility to obtain the proper planting permit and adhere to City of Greeley planting standards. Please visit our Right-of-way permits page for more information, to download a permit application or to fill out a permit application and submit it online.
Any tree(s) planted on public rights-of-way must be preceded with a landscape permit issued by the Community Development Department. For landscaping individual residential properties the permit cost is $10. For landscaping commercial/development properties the permit will be issued at a rate of $50 per hour for review of landscape plans with a minimum charge of $50. Failure to obtain a permit prior to installation of the landscape will result in a fine twice the amount of the permit.
Plants NOT Authorized For Use On Public Rights-Of-Way
Unless otherwise authorized in the permit, the following species and types of trees and woody plants shall not be planted or allowed to grow upon public street rights-of-way within the City of Greeley unless in existence prior to January 1, 1977.
1. Any of the poplar species (Populus spp.), including but not limited to Cottonwood, Aspen, Silver Poplar, Lombardy Poplar
2. Any of the Willow species (Salix spp.)
3. The Box Elder tree (Acer negundo)
4. The Siberian (Chinese) Elm (Ulmus pumila)
5. Any weeping or pendulous type tree (i.e. Weeping Birch).
6. Any tree with bushy growth habit which cannot be maintained to a single leader or trunk
7. Any shrub or hedge which by its habit of growth would obstruct, restrict, or conflict with necessary and safe use of the public rights-of-way
8. Conifers or evergreens, particularly any evergreens which would eventually grow over the sidewalks or streets
9. Any Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) that bears either seed pods or thorns
10. Russian Olive (Eleagnus angustifolia)
11. No plant material which would eventually exceed 36" in height will be allowed within the ISD (Intersection Sight Distance) area. The ISD depends on the the highway operating speed and desired maneuver of a vehicle in the ISD. Contact our office for more information.
Regulations Pertaining To Spacing Of Trees To Be Planted On Public Rights-Of-Way
1. Unless otherwise authorized in the permit, all newly-planted street trees shall be planted midway between the sidewalk and the curb. Trees which attain a large maturity (over 20' in height) shall be spaced at least 35' apart to allow for safe, healthy, attractive growth. Smaller types of trees, when designated as such by the permit, may be spaced to a minimum of 25' apart.
2. No trees will be planted closer than 5' to any driveway or alley, nor shall it be planted in such a manner that eventual growth cannot be reasonably maintained to avert interference with, or obstruction of, any improvements installed for the public benefit such as traffic and street signs and lights, fire hydrants, overhead utility wires, street lights, utility poles, etc.
3. At edges of streets where a space of less than 5' in width exists between the curb and the abutting private property line, no trees or woody plants shall be planted on the public area so involved.
4. Where the combination sidewalk-curb and gutter have been installed, no tree plantings are to be made closer than 5' from the edge of any concrete installation.
5. All landscaping and/or plantings upon public rights-of-way must be preceded by an approved planting permit issued by the Community Development Department. Any illegal or unauthorized planting or volunteer growth occurring after January 1, 1977, may be ordered removed by the Community Development Department.
6. Trees are not to be planted within 10' of either side of water, sewer, or storm drain service lines.
7. No more than six (6) of the same plant genus may be used consecutively in a row-type planting.
Trees To Avoid
Red Maple (Acer platanoides spp.)
Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
Russian Olive (Eleagnus angustifolia)
Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
Birch (Betula spp.)
Box Elder (Acer negundo)
Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra)
Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)
Cottonwoods (Populus spp.)
Sunburst Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos 'Sunburst')
Willows, Austree (Salix spp.)
Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.)
Mountain-Ash (Sorbus americana )
Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)