Public Tree Maintenance
A healthy forest canopy within public areas is maintained through tree pruning, removal of dead and declining trees and planting of new trees including establishment care for three years. Forestry service is provided on a request basis and through systematic operations of pruning and planting. An annual city-wide inspection is scheduled to identify, then remove dead and declining trees as part of the tree risk management program. Emergency tree work is provided to clear and remove storm damaged trees and tree debris. New tree planting and establishment care is provided through a reforestation program for neighborhood and parks and through contractor tree plantings as part of capital roadway projects.
How to tell if the tree is in the City ROW (rule of thumb)
If the tree originates within the space between the curb and sidewalk, it is most likely a City tree. (This is true even if an actual sidewalk does not exist. Just look at the driveway and you should see, if it is a concrete driveway, what is called a sidewalk panel which is a strip of concrete that is placed where a sidewalk could go if one were to be installed in the future.) There are more steps to take if there are no landmarks such as sidewalk panels to reference. If you cannot tell if the tree is public or private, just call the Forestry office. We can help.
What constitutes a tree related emergency
A situation in which a City owned tree or portion of a City owned tree is or will eminently cause harm to life or property. The tree or portion of the tree may or may not be connected i.e. a large limb that has fallen into the street on a blind curve.
To report a tree emergency, dial (316) 268-4003 | (316) 268-4004 | (316) 268-4361 | or just call 911.
A non-emergency situation is when a City-owned tree or portion of a City-owned tree is damaged and in need of attention but is not impeding vehicle traffic or eminently threatening life or property.
The difference between a City street right-of-way (ROW) and a utility easement tree
A City street right-of-way (ROW) is adjacent to the curb of the street regardless of overhead power lines/utilities. Trees located in the City street ROW are owned by the City of Wichita and managed under the jurisdiction of the City Forestry office. Where power lines or other utilities cross private property and are not adjacent to the City street, a utility easement exists for line/utility maintenance. Trees that exist within this utility easement are owned by the adjacent property owner and are the responsibility of that property owner, not the City. This includes alley ways. City Forestry has jurisdiction over trees located in the following areas: street ROW, City parks and golf courses, and City-owned buildings and land.
Forestry makes every effort to preserve and protect trees in the public right-of-way until their health or condition warrants removal. Forestry does not remove healthy trees due to infrastructure conflicts with sewer lines or sidewalk concrete. Tree roots rarely damage sound pipes in good condition, and only intrude if they have been afforded access by a break, joint failture or perforation. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to repair the line with impervious, watertight piping.