Q. Which trees in my neighborhood are maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department?
Generally speaking, those trees which are in the "street right of way" or between the street and the sidewalk. This may include trees which you have purchased and planted yourself. Allen County GIS Data Viewer (http://www.acimap.us/viewer.html) is an internet-based resource that can help with determining where the right of way is located.
Q. My street tree needs to be pruned? Will you prune it?
All trees managed by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation are cyclically pruned on an 8-year cycle. With nearly 50,000 street trees and 20,000 park trees, this is no small task. In order for us to do this in an efficient and economical manner, we must defer individual pruning requests until your tree fits within the pruning cycle. To find where crews are currently pruning visit: http://www.fortwayneparks.org/street-trees/current-pruning.html
Q. Can I prune a tree myself in the street right of way?
Yes, with the consent of the City Arborist, a Certified Arborist who is hired by a homeowner may be given permission to prune a tree in the right of way under certain circumstances. The city arborist can be reached by calling 427-6400.
Q. Why do you prune the trees the way that you do?
Trees lining our streets and shading our sidewalks must be pruned much differently than trees standing in our parks or a homeowner's lawn. Our pruning methods reflect the street tree's specialized purpose of providing cooling shade over hard surfaced streets and sidewalks. Our trees are pruned in accordance with nationally accepted industry standards (ANSI A300) and the International Society of Arboriculture Best Management Practices. The goal of our pruning is to make the public trees as safe and healthy as possible and to minimize any conflicts with pedestrian and vehicular traffic. At times, our pruning practices for small trees may look a little bit harsh. It is best to remove tree limbs that will eventually become a problem while the tree is young and the limbs are still small. Remember that the appearance of a newly pruned tree is temporary and becomes less dramatic with each passing season and each subsequent trimming.
Q. A street light is being blocked by a city tree limb(s). When will it be trimmed?
Tree limbs are pruned away from street lights during the cyclical pruning of each tree. Because tree health is also an important consideration, we are not always able to create enough clearance to last until the next scheduled pruning. Please be patient. Our trees are strategically pruned to resolve this issue as they reach their mature height and spread.
Q. My neighbor's tree is causing an issue over the sidewalk/street. Will you trim it?
We cannot trim any privately owned trees. The owner of the tree is responsible for all necessary maintenance. Fort Wayne’s Right-of-Way Department can require the tree owner to resolve certain issues impacting the safe passage of vehicles and/or pedestrians.
Q. My utility provider just pruned the tree by my house, and it looks terrible. What can I do now?
This work was necessary to ensure reliable electric power. Large trees and overhead utilities do not co-exist well and periodic line clearance work is required to maintain electric lines; often times at the expense of the aesthetics of the tree. The Fort Wayne Parks Department does not prune trees away from powerlines. For questions concerning powerline tree clearance, please contact the AEP Call Center at 1-800-311-4634.
Q. What if I (intentionally or unintentionally) damage or remove a city-owned tree?
Whether the damage is above or below the ground, this constitutes Destruction of City Property and you will be required to pay for the treatment or replacement of the impacted tree. Whether the damage is above or below the ground, this constitutes Destruction of City Property and you will be required to pay for the treatment or replacement of the impacted tree. The Fort Wayne Parks Department, with the approval of the Board of Park Commissioners, has adopted and shall enforce a Tree Protection Policy for any and all trees under the jurisdiction of the Parks Department. It is our responsibility to protect the health of all street trees and park trees with due diligence. In short, the Tree Protection Policy states: • No party shall install nails, screws, staples, tacks, wire or other metal or synthetic fasteners or ties onto any structural member of a City tree, including trunks and scaffold branches. Any temporary attachments should be made with natural fiber jute or sisal twine and removed as soon as possible.• Lighting and other electrical equipment shall not be permanently attached to trees. Strings of low wattage lights, remaining no more than 60 days at a time may be permitted with the approval of The Superintendent of Urban Forestry & City Arborist, provided the installation means do no damage to the tree.• No party shall perform any maintenance practice on a City tree not in accord with this section, except with permission of The Superintendent of Urban Forestry & City Arborist under justified circumstances.• No party shall pile organic or stone mulch over the root system of a City tree in excess of 2” depth. No mulch shall contact the tree trunk and other aboveground flare roots.• No party shall strike, cut, tear, abrade, break, remove or otherwise physically mutilate a City tree without authorization of the City Forester.• No party shall damage the growing environment of a City tree, such as by poisoning the soil with salts, chemicals, herbicides or by exposing trees to excessive heat, cold or damaging fumes, outside of normal growing conditions.• Soils within the root zone of the tree shall not be compacted, excavated or filled over without the approval of The Superintendent of Urban Forestry & City Arborist to determine the potential for damage and loss and how these may be prevented or remediated.• Removal of live trees that pose no safety or liability hazard for the public is discouraged. Removal of trees or their parts requires the approval of The Superintendent of Urban Forestry & City Arborist. Removal of live City-owned trees and their parts to increase visibility to outdoor advertising requires approval of the Board of Park Commissioners.
Each summer, qualified forestry staff (ISA Certified Arborist with advanced training in tree risk assessment) drive every street and evaluate the street trees by windshield survey with the intent of identifying trees for removal. Recognizing the limitations of our resources, it is our goal to identify the trees that present the greatest risk. This survey typically results in 500-600 trees being identified for removal. Once identified, the removal of these trees will be scheduled according to priority as determined by the inspection. Proximity to additional trees identified for removal is also considered during scheduling.
Q. They came and cut the tree but the stump is still there and needs to be removed. Is the stump removal scheduled?
Yes, following the trees’ removal, the remaining stump will be inventoried and should be removed within 1-year. If you have a stump remaining and it has been there for more than 1-year, please call 427-6400.
Q. Tree roots have entered my sewer line. Will you remove the tree to resolve this?
No, Tree roots move throughout the soil in search of water and air. If there is a broken drain or water pipe, the roots will be attracted to the leak because it provides these two things. Without a break or leak, there would be no water or air to attract the roots. These roots are taking advantage of the break or leak caused by something else such as aging pipes or faulty joints. Repairing the compromised pipe is the only solution. Removing the tree will not resolve this issue.
Q. A street tree or street tree limb has fallen down. What should I do?
It is impossible to maintain trees free of risk; some level of risk must be accepted to experience the benefits that trees provide. Fortunately, serious damage, injury, or death from tree failure is uncommon. Most tree failures occur during periods of adverse weather. In the event that a street tree or street tree limb does fall, please create a service request with 311 Citizen Services by dialing “311” from your phone or by visiting the 311 Citizen Services website: https://cityoffortwayne.custhelp.com/app/Fortwayne/home
Q. We just had a storm and there are trees/tree limbs down throughout my neighborhood. Should I report this? When will it be cleaned up?
Yes, please create a service request with 311 Citizen Services. This will help us keep track of all of the reported tree-related issues resulting from the storm event. Depending on the severity of the storm event, our clean-up efforts can take weeks or even months to complete. In the event of widespread tree failures, our efforts will be prioritized.
Q. A tree was just removed in front of my home, can I expect a replacement?
The City of Fort Wayne has approximately 40,000 available planting sites and funding to plant about 1000 trees annually. If you would like to request that a tree be planted within the Right-of-Way in front of your home, please consider our Citizen Match Tree Planting Program. This is a cost-sharing program with applications available between February and July 1st yearly. To ensure that you have the best fit for your street tree, it is important to evaluate the location you are considering and then get the best tree to fit the space. This list includes some of the best varieties of the hardiest trees for planting along our city streets. The vast majority of our trees are planted during the fall planting season (October-December)
Q. I have a nest of bees in the city-owned tree by my home, what should I do?
Because honeybees are tremendously beneficial to our environment and generally not aggressive, we recommend making every effort to protect them. Most local pest control companies will assist you in removing wasp and hornet nests.