South Bend Tree & Lawn Regulations

Standards for Planting Trees & Shrubs

In accordance with Indiana Code Section 19-17:

  • Tree Species- The Board of Park Commissioners, or Executive Director of Venues Parks & Arts develops and maintains a list of desirable trees for planting along streets in three size classes; small, medium, and large.  All trees planted in such areas shall be of healthy stock, not less than 2 inches in caliper.
  • Spacing- The spacing of tree and lawn area trees and shrubs will be in accordance with the tree species size classes listed in the recommended species of trees list. No trees may be planted closer together than the following: small trees (30 feet), medium trees (40 feet), large trees (59 feet), except in special planting designed or approved by the Board of Park Commissioners.
  • Utilities- No tree and lawn area trees other than those species listed there in, as small trees, may be planted under or within 10 lateral feet of any overhead utility wire, or within 5 lateral feet of any underground water, sewer, transmission, or other utility line(s).
  • Distance from curbs and sidewalks- The distance that tree and lawn area trees and shrubs may be planted from curbs or curb lines and sidewalks will be in accordance with the three species classes listed in Recommended Species document (I.C. 19-17- C-2). No tree or shrub in such areas of street intersections shall be planted less than 15 feeet from the intersection of the curbs.  No person shall plant trees within 6 feet of a fire hydrant or in such a manner as to obstruct the view of any street light, traffic sign, signal device, or street intersection (Code 1962 38-17,19).  No tree, lawn area tree, or shrub may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk than the following: small trees (2 feet), medium trees (3 feet), and large trees (4 feet).
  • Hedge or Shrubbery- No hedge or shrubbery planted in the tree and lawn area shall be permitted to grow more than 3 feet high.

When To Get A Permit

A permit is required for trimming, planting or removal of tree lawn trees. The property owner is responsible for planting, trimming and/or removing any tree in the tree lawn area; which includes the grassy area between the sidewalk and curb.  Prior to planting, trimming, or removing any tree in the tree lawn area, the property owner must obtain a permit.  Once the permit is issued, the property owner may choose to do the work themselves or may contact a licensed arborist to complete the work. 

To request a permit or list of licensed arborists, please call 574.299.4766. In addition to being responsible for removing dead or diseased trees from the tree lawn, the property owner must be concerned about public safety, and ensure that their sidewalk is not obstructed.

Extra Information 

To assist homeowners in keeping healthy trees, below please find the following useful sites:

  • Trees – In this informative page from the National Arbor Day Foundation you will learn general tree information.
  • Benefits of Trees – Web page which lists twenty two benefits of trees.
  • List of Trees – This page from Cornell University lists fifty tree names along with links to information.
  • Tree Information – Useful article which provides information on various types of trees.
  • Tree Fact Sheets – Informative information from the University of Florida which has facts about various kinds of trees.
  • Full Sun Trees – Article which lists trees that need full sun to thrive.
  • Trees in Full Sun – Helpful article that provides a look at trees that grow best in full sun.
  • Shade Trees – In this article from the University of Missouri you will find which trees are best for shade around the home.
  • Shade Trees for the Home – Useful page which gives homeowners instruction on how to select trees for the home.
  • Tree Benefits – A web page which lists the general benefits of trees are to the world.
  • Trees Save Energy – Informative page for homeowners to learn how trees can help save energy.
  • How Trees Work – General information on how trees work and their place in our environment.
  • Tree Facts – Useful page that provides a look at how trees grow and thrive.
  • Healthy Roots and Trees – In this page from Colorado State University you will find information on how root health is important to tree health.
  • Guide to Healthy Trees (PDF) – This publication gives homeowners information on keeping trees healthy.
  • Tree Tips – Tips and advice on how to care for trees to keep them healthy.
  • Healthy Trees – General advice and information on the importance of keeping trees healthy.
  • Tree Health Care – This useful page from Clemson University provides advice on how to maintain healthy trees.
  • Insect and Disease Problems – Article that outlines some of the common ailments with trees.
  • What's Wrong With My Tree? - Useful article with information on different tree health problems.
  • Guide for Safe and Healthy Trees – Informative page which provides tips and advice on having healthy trees.
  • Tree and Shrub Health – Information on insects, diseases and other health concerns about trees.
  • Pruning – Helpful web page with a good deal of information about pruning trees.
  • Tree Care Tips – This page lists a number of tips that homeowners can use to care for trees.
  • Caring for Trees and Shrubs – Useful article with advice on how to care for home trees and shrubs.
  • Proper Pruning Advice – Informative page with advice on how to correctly prune trees.
  • Tree Resource Guide – Helpful page with information for home gardeners and arborists.
  • Tree Resources – General information about trees with resources and other helpful topics.
  • Forrest and Trees – Informative page from Purdue University with a wide range of information on various topics.
  • Tree Care Resources – This page from the University of Nebraska offers a number of useful links about tree care.
  • Stop the Spread of Callery Pear Tree Hybrids!