Policies & Procedures

The Geneva Shade Tree Committee provides oversight to the City's efforts to maintain and enhance its urban forest. Geneva City Code mandates that tree work is done in safe, legal, and aesthetically pleasing ways, whether by the City's Department of Public Works or by companies working with the Department of Public Works (DPW) or with private home or business owners. Also in place are procedures that facilitate home owners' requests for tree work and for post-planting care of young trees.

Geneva City Shade Tree Ordinance

See ordinance - City Code Chapter 327: Trees.

Geneva's Shade Tree Program Workbook

Over time, weather, poor planning and disease can damage trees, making them prone to failure and rendering them hazardous to people and property. The City of Geneva faces several issues of how to manage its beautiful assortment of shade trees. These include fiscal constraints, environmental sustainability for promoting resource health, as well as public safety. It is important for the municipality to ensure reasonable care is being taken to manage the public safety risks associated with hazardous trees along the right-of-way. This notebook focuses on the prevention and amelioration of hazardous tree defects, and details a systematic procedure for inspecting and evaluating potentially hazardous trees throughout public parks and all right-of-way.

Download the Shade Tree Program Workbook (PDF).

Requesting Tree Work from Geneva's DPW

To request tree work, call the Geneva Engineering Department at 315-789-3101 with request.

Matching Tree Size to Site in New Plantings

Planting sites between sidewalks and curbs vary in width, soil construction, underground and above ground utility restrictions, nearness to signage and street intersections, etc. Many of our large, old trees have been severely pruned or have deteriorated because of such site characteristics. New trees are thus being selected by the City so as to conform to site restrictions and on ultimate size and growth habit of the selected species. Each year Geneva selects several species in each mature-size category (small, medium, large) to purchase for plantings that match site restrictions. For example, based on adequate tree-lawn width, the distance along the street open for planting a "large" tree is 40 feet, for a "medium" tree it is 30 feet, and for a "small" tree species it is 20 feet. Utility features can further restrict tree selection.

Home Owner Care for New Street Trees

  • Water it once a week from May to October by running a hose at a trickle about an hour or pouring a couple of pails of water at the base.
  • Spread organic mulch (leaves, grass clippings, bark chips, etc.) in a 4 foot diameter circle around the tree, 2 to 4 inches deep but not touching the trunk.
  • Protect the young tree trunk from damage.