Tree Planting Program

The city has an annual tree planting program available to residents who are interested in sharing the cost of a new tree to be planted in the out-lawn area (between the sidewalk and the street) of their home.  Orders are taken throughout the year, with October 1 being the deadline for placing and order.

The cost for each tree is shared between the homeowner and the city, with each party paying for half the average unit price bid for the trees. Bids are taken by the city in September of each year, while planting takes place generally during the months of October and December.

Download Tree Planting Program Order Form

Comparison spreadsheet of available trees

Please contact 616-940-4817 for more information on this program.

Types of Trees

The types of trees currently being offered for planting in the out-lawn are as follows:   

These trees are perfect under utility lines and in smaller outlawn areas: 

Red Horse Chestnut:  Lustrous large, dark green leaves with no fall color; showy bright red 6-10” flower spikes; moderate growth rate.  Mature height of 20-30 feet.

Chanticleer Pear:  A profusion of flowers in the spring, simple oval leaves that are dark green in the summer, turning orange to gold-red to red-purple in the fall.  Yields hard pea-sized to 1/" fruit that is brownish or russet colored which persists into the winter. Medium growth rate.  Mature height of 35-40 feet.  

Autumn Brilliance Juneberry:  Forms a dense, oval habit and produces masses of spring flowers that open light pink and turn white; produces purplish-black fruit which the birds love; dramatic fall color of orange, red and yellow.  Fast growing.  Mature height of 15-20 feet.

Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn:  Clusters of white flowers in the spring, followed by dark red berries; rounded glossy green leaves which turn bright yellow to orange in the fall.  Fast growing.  Mature height:  15-25 feet.

Japanese Tree Lilac: Clusters of foot-long, white, fragrant flowers in early summer.  After flowers fade, the tree produces seed capsules that attract songbirds.  Mature height 15 – 30 feet.


These trees must not be planted under utility lines.  The outlawn must be greater than 48 inches in width:

Greenspire Linden:  Tiny yellow, fragrant flowers appear in early summer and small, heart-shaped green leaves which turn yellow in fall.  Fairly fast growing.  Mature height 30 -50 feet.

Gingko:  Distinct, beautiful tree.  Fan-shaped bright green leaves that turn a stunning yellow in the fall.  Grows at a medium rate.  Mature height 25 – 50 feet.

Tulip Tree:  Leaves are 3-6" long with distinctive lobes, flat base and two ear-like tips turning vibrant yellow in the fall. Tulip-shaped flowers with greenish-yellow petals with a splash of orange at the base.  Attractive shape and interesting reddish bark with white markings provide year –round interest. Fast growing.  Mature height:  70 – 90 feet.

Green Vase Zelkova:  A graceful shape, clean foliage, attractive bark.  Oblong green leaves turn to yellow in fall, but can be a bronzy red in dry weather.  Fast growing, somewhat wide spreading.  Mature height:  60 – 80 feet.

Skyline Locust:  Deep dark green leaves persist late in fall turning to yellow-green.  Produces a few pods infrequently.  Vigorous grower with a straight trunk and graceful ascending branches.  Mature height: 60-70 feet.

New trees cannot be planted where a tree was recently removed because of the root mass still under ground.

In 2016, the City hired Davey Resources to complete an inventory of all trees along city streets and in parks and natural areas.  The inventory will allow the city to care for the existing trees and to strategically plan for future planting and maintenance.

Tree Maintenance Program

The Public Works Department provides maintenance for trees located in the out-lawn areas and on city property. This includes trimming, removal, stump grinding and restoration.

Outside Contractors

When necessary, the city contracts with a tree care company for these items. The contractor provides the city with the expertise of a certified arborist capable of assessing tree conditions and making recommendations to save or remove trees.
This arborist provides consultation to the city on an as-needed basis for such items as Dutch elm disease, emerald ash borer, gypsy moths, and overall tree health and condition.

Reporting Trees for Maintenance

Please report the following to the Public Works Department:

  • Diseased trees, or suspected diseased trees
  • Low-hanging branches or other unsafe conditions