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Page last updated on October 9, 2019 at 5:13 pm

The City of Bloomington has a legal and moral obligation to maintain healthy and safe trees on municipal land and public streets. The Urban Forestry plan is a reasonable and responsible plan to make the City and its neighborhoods healthier for humans, more aesthetically pleasing, and to reduce tree-related problems.

Goal and Objectives

To maintain the health of the existing 12,000+ street trees and the future planting of trees in the more than 4,000 vacant tree spaces located on the more than 500 miles of streets in Bloomington.

  • To incorporate citizen and neighborhood input into the planning process to establish a list of pre-approved replacement tree species to be planted when a street tree has to be removed.
  • To ensure diversification of tree species throughout the City and within each major section of the City, as a key measure to ensure the health of the urban forest.
  • To ensure that each planting space in the City is planted, conditions permitting.
  • To maintain Tree City USA status for the City.
  • To implement and keep up to date a tree emergency plan.

To designate appropriate new and replacement tree species for specific locations based on the species' aesthetic interest, adaptability to the streetscape environment, size of the planting space, presence of overhead and underground utilities, and ease of long-term maintenance.

Key Principles and Policies

  • It is the policy of the Mayor and Council of Bloomington that the City will have tree-lined streets. Therefore, it is a goal that each planting space available in the City will receive a tree.
  • A street tree will be removed and replaced if it is dead or dying, or becomes hazardous by developing structural defects that can lead to failure of the whole tree or large portions of the tree. If a healthy tree is removed due to an approved development or city infrastructure project it will be transplanted or a new planting of an equal or greater number of trees of similar quality will be sought.
  • The species designated for a particular street is subject to change if a majority of residents on the street agree, and as long as the alternate selection(s) meet all of the criteria of the City's Tree Care Manual. Once replacement begins, no further changes can be made other than in cases where the species is removed from the approved planting list.
  • The goal of the Urban Forestry Plan is to select the best new or replacement trees for specific locations-taking into account planting space, overhead lines, etc. Other objectives are to diversify tree species within neighborhoods, enhance sightlines for pedestrian and other traffic, and to provide uniformity on streets.
  • All contracted tree maintenance will be conducted by a certified arborist.

The City of Bloomington is committed to maintaining healthy and safe trees on municipal lands and public streets, and it is the mission of the Parks and Recreation Department to establish and sustain a healthy, long term, stable urban forest. To this end, the urban forestry program will require continuing review and analysis, planning, and forest management with emphasis on improving the health and the quantity of our trees. The Urban Forestry Plan is a statement of this mission and some measures to take responsible care of City trees. It is also a forward-looking plan to reduce tree-related problems and to beautify the City of Bloomington.


For more information, contact Bloomington Parks and Recreation at (812) 349-3700.


Please note: This Urban Forestry Plan covers only those streets maintained by the City of Bloomington. Residents along state roads may contact the Indiana Department of Transportation. Residents in private communities should contact their homeowners association or facilities management.