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Lehi Cityscape

Urban Forestry FAQ’s

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FAQ’sLehi City Buildings Parks and Cemetery

For questions not answered here contact Lehi Parks Urban Forestry at

385-201-2294 or parkstrees@lehi-ut.gov

Do I need a permit to plant a tree in the Park Strip? Yes. The free permit helps the adjacent property owner with choosing the right tree, placement, proper installation and possible future conflict with utilities or infrastructure that may reduce the life of the tree. It also helps to build the diversity of tree species in the Lehi community.  Click here for the permit.

What are street trees?  Typically, trees are planted in the “park strip” which is the area between the sidewalk and the street. If a tree is not within the public right-of-way, it is NOT a street tree.

What are public trees and what are private trees? Street trees, trees growing in city parks, city owned open space and basins are all public trees. Some streets do not have park strips, but the trees along the street may still be public trees. Trees growing on private property and not in any right of way are not public trees.

What is the right-of-way?  The public right-of-way is the area that includes the street, sidewalk, and some property along the street. Typically, the City has an easement over this area. The width varies from street to street, but typically the ROW extends approximately 10’ from the back of curb towards the adjacent property.

Why are street trees important?  Street trees are a vital asset to the urban environment. Without street trees, the City is a sterile landscape of concrete, brick, steel, and asphalt. Picture the City of Lehi without any trees and you see a pretty grim picture. Trees add beauty and create an environment beneficial to our mental health. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and, in turn, replenish the atmosphere with oxygen for people to breathe. Trees have other benefits that people take for granted. They help cool the streets with shade, lessen glare off buildings and sidewalks, absorb noise, and bring beauty to our community.

What type of tree should I plant in my yard? There are many questions to ask before choosing a tree for the desired planting site. One of the most important things consider is how tall and wide will the tree get at maturity and will it fit in the site. Many plant trees not thinking about the space they need to grow into. Other factors to consider, why are you planting a tree and what function will it serve? Are there bordering existing trees/buildings in neighboring properties? Does the area have poor drainage?  Do overhead or below-ground utilities preclude planting a large, growing tree or any tree at all?  What clearance is needed for streets, sidewalks, patios, or driveways? More information on tree selection can be found here.

Will the city plant, provide maintenance or remove my street trees? It is the adjacent property owner that plants and maintains the street trees. The city does have the right to prune, spray or remove any tree that is planted in a Right of Way Easement if any utility needs to be maintained, or if infrastructure conflict has occurred. More can be found in the city ordinances Chapter 35.  

Can’t anything be done about the way that the street trees are pruned under the power lines?  Line clearance pruning, while unsightly to many people, is necessary to ensure reliable power.  The real answer to this situation is planting the right tree in the right place. This means that the type of tree to be planted is selected based on the location where it will be planted. The only trees that should ever be planted under transmission lines are trees that will mature at a height low enough to prevent conflict with the overhead utility lines. This way, the trees won’t need to be trimmed for line clearance. 

Why it is bad to top a tree? · Don’t Top Trees.Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known. Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to stubs or to lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal role. Many people mistakenly “top” trees because they interfere with views or sunlight, or simply grow so large for the landowner.  Topping reduces the life of a tree, encourages many pests and can make the tree more prone to hazardous failure with the structure of the tree. More information on tree selection can be found here.

Vegetation and low tree limbs make it difficult to see at an intersection, street sign, or is blocking the sidewalk. Can Urban Forestry help? It is the adjacent property owner’s responsibility to maintain the vegetation.  Urban Forestry can evaluate these problems to determine the best method to improve the situation with those property owners and to solve the problem. 

Can Urban Forestry help with a tree that is on private property? Lehi City does not perform work for trees located on private property. We can answer questions or concerns with the health of your tree.

My neighbor has a dead tree that could fall onto my house. What can be done about this?  Urban Forestry can’t get involved in these types of “civil dispute” situations. We recommend that you get legal counsel on how to handle this if your neighbor has not responded to your request to deal with the situation.

How can I find an arborist for tree work? Lehi City cannot recommend any specific arborist or tree care company but see the tree resources page for the Utah Community Forest Council website that contains a list of certified arborists who can assist with private property trees.

Can I attach a sign, bird feeder, rope or any other item to a city owned tree? It is against city ordinance to attach anything to a city tree. Not only can it be harmful to the tree, but it can prevent public use of sidewalks, etc. More can be found in the city ordinances Chapter 35.

A street tree is lifting my sidewalk. Will the city remove the tree? Hardscape or utility damage are NOT appropriate reasons for healthy tree removal. Each situation is different for the tree to remain or to be removed. Lehi city does not remove trees that are a nuisance. Only trees that are considered a hazard are removed.

What height should my branches be pruned above a sidewalk, roadway of in front of a street sign?  City ordinance state that 8’ over a sidewalk, and 14’ over a street. Any tree or shrub shall not block a street sign, streetlight, or intersection. Sidewalks must be passable also with maintaining shrubbery that is obstructing pedestrian travel.  More can be found in the city ordinances Chapter 35.

Why doesn’t someone rake or cleanup the leaves from street trees?  Routine maintenance including raking leaves that have fallen into the street or gutter is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.

What can I do to about tree roots in my sewer or water line?  Tree roots are opportunistic. While they will not crack a sound sewer service or water line, however they will exploit cracks or failures in the lines. Property owners are responsible for the water and sewer lines from the curb to the house. If your problem with tree roots is in this area, you will need to contact a plumber to help you with the work

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