Urban Forestry
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City of Indianapolis Urban Forestry

​Trees in urban environments provide many aesthetic and environmental benefits including carbon sequestration, storm water interception, habitat for wildlife and energy conservation. However, the urban environment can be a hostile place for trees. Unlike trees in natural environments, trees in right of ways and in active recreation areas in parks have to be maintained and concerns such as public safety, aesthetics and infrastructure conflicts must be taken into account.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) Urban Forestry Section works closely with other city departments, government agencies and other organizations to improve the overall health and condition of the trees, community landscapes and natural areas that make up the urban forest in Indianapolis.

The Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) also has several specific responsibilities pertaining to urban forestry. Specifically DCE is responsible for enforcing Chapter 701, the tree and flora ordinance for the City of Indianapolis.

Urban Forestry is responsible for the following city services in parks and right of ways:

  • Hazardous Tree Removal
  • Tree Pruning
  • Removing Brush that encroaches into right of ways
  • Process tree inspection requests
  • Rapid Response to tree emergencies in streets and right of ways

Other responsibilities include:

  • Coordinate tree plantings with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) and other departments in parks and city right of ways
  • Review plans, drawings and cost projections for public projects in parks, green spaces and right of ways
  • Represent the city on the Indianapolis/Marion County Tree Board
  • Oversee all forestry work completed by contractors in city property
  • Organize large volunteer events
  • Pursue and manage partnerships and grants that benefit the urban forest
  • Work with other departments to manage invasive-exotic vegetation
  • Work with DCE to maintain recommended tree planting lists
  • Manage City Christmas Tree Recycling Program