Street Tree Planting Guidelines & Application

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The City of Ames has been a recognized “Tree City USA” since 1983, so we are pleased you want to enhance our community by planting a tree(s) in the “parking” near your home. The “parking” is the public right-of-way portion of land between the sidewalk and the street; or, if no sidewalk is present, it is the area from the curb to your property line.


UTILITY LOCATING.  Because utility services are often located in the parking, Iowa law requires that utilities be located before digging to ensure that no utility outages occur. Utility locating may be requested from Iowa One Call at 811 or Please be sure to mark the area where you wish to plant the tree(s) with a stake or white paint so the utility locators can ensure they are marking the correct area.

DESCRIPTION OF PLANTING LOCATION.  Along with your permit application, please include a description of the location of the tree(s) in relation to the sidewalk, driveway, etc., and indicate distances between trees, signs, intersections, or other noteworthy items near the proposed planting location(s).

PERMIT APPROVAL.  Please notify the Parks and Recreation Department at 515-239-5364 after the utility locates have been completed. A staff person will review the utilities and call to let you know that your application is approved. You may plant your tree(s) after you have received the call/approval. 

COST.  Property owners are responsible for the cost of trees and planting; however, there is no cost for street tree planting permits or for any inspection/consultation work performed by the Parks and Recreation Department related to properly locating trees in relation to buried utilities.

PLANTING GUIDELINES.  Please review the following table of planting guidelines and list of deciduous shade trees recommended for planting in public right-of-ways. If you have questions regarding the type of tree(s) to plant, please call the Parks and Recreation Department at 515-239-5364.


To submit your Street Tree Planting Permit Application online, please click here.
Thank you again for wanting to beautify your neighborhood and our community!