Urbana Shade Tree Commission


The Urbana Shade Tree Commission meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Urbana Municipal Building.  The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Urbana Shade Commission will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 7:00PM.

Tree City USA: The City of Urbana has been a Tree City USA for 17 consecutive years. Urbana was first named a Tree City USA in 2003 for its tree efforts in 2002.

Street Tree Planting Program:  Recently, the City of Urbana has switched to a bare root tree planting program for the planting of new street trees.  All bare root street tree plantings will take place in the spring.  The City of Urbana will no longer plant street trees during the fall unless the plantings are part of a larger city project.  Property owners who would like the city to consider the tree lawn in front of their property for tree planting should contact Doug Crabill by calling 652-4305 or by email at the following address: doug.crabill@ci.urbana.oh.us.

Memorial Tree Program: The City of Urbana is pleased to offer a memorial tree program for individuals or organizations desiring to create a lasting remembrance of a loved one, commemorate a special achievement, or honor a deserving person or organization through the planting of memorial trees at Oakdale Cemetery, Melvin Miller Park, or other city parkland.  All memorial trees will be planted in the fall, and select tree species are available.  An application form about the program is available here: Memorial Tree Program Application Form.  For additional information, please contact Doug Crabill by calling 652-4305 or by email at the following address: doug.crabill@ci.urbana.oh.us.  A listing of the memorial trees previously planted is available here: Memorial Tree Listing.  As additional trees are planted, this listing will be updated.

Vacant, Ward 1; John Kussman, Ward 2; Jim Lemon, Ward 3; Earl Cottrill, Jr., Ward 4; Ward Lutz, At Large; Doug Crabill, At Large; Colin Stein, Street Superintendent.

The mission of the City of Urbana Shade Tree Commission is to maintain and improve the urban forest of the city through recommendations to the city administration for planned tree pruning, removal, and planting in public right-of-ways and spaces. In addition, the commission works to educate the public about the beauty and value of trees.

The roots of the Urbana Shade Tree Commission date back to the early 1980’s when key individuals, including, the late Mr. Elmo Layman, the late Mr. Rocky Teets (Parks Superintendent), and the late Mr. Lewis B. Moore (Mayor) tried to form a tree commission in the city. The city council at the time did not support this initiative, but the vision did not cease.

Nearly twenty years later in the fall of 2001, The Urbana Shade Tree Commission was established by a city ordinance following many months of volunteer efforts to write an ordinance.

Once again, key individuals like Elmo Layman and Rocky Teets tried to press for organized tree efforts in the city, and they were successful in their second attempt. The commission’s first meeting was held on March 18, 2002, and meetings have been held on a regular basis since that time. The commission earned its Tree City USA status on Arbor Day 2003, and the commission continues to work toward a healthy urban forest.

The commission has completed a tree inventory to prioritize tree removal needs, and the commission has started a yearly tree planting program. As time passes, the commission continues to plan for a more comprehensive tree planting program.

National Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA Requirements

  • A Community Tree Commission
  • A Community Tree Ordinance
  • A Community Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita
  • An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation. 

Shade Tree Ordinance
 The city ordinance governing shade trees is Chapter 905 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Urbana. Go to city government and then ordinances to view the ordinance. In addition, Administrative Regulation A-53 governs tree removal policies. 

 Regulations and Preferred Shade Tree List

The Urbana Shade Tree Commission has regulations for what trees may be planted in public areas and general tree recommendations for private lawns.

 Regulations and Preferred Tree List

Tree Care Instructions for Newly Planted Trees

This sheet covers the maintenance and care of newly planted trees.

Tree Care Instructions.pdf

Current Tree Inventories

The tree inventories for the street trees and cemetery trees are available here. The street tree inventory is sorted by street.  The cemetery trees are identified by numerical tags.

 Street Tree Inventory-January 2019
Oakdale Cemetery Inventory-June 2015
Oakdale Cemetery Section Map (a helpful map when using the Oakdale Cemetery tree inventory)

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan
Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Proclamation
Emerald Ash Borer Resident Cover Letter
Emerald Ash Borer Replacement Tree Application
Preferred Tree List
Ash Tree Inventory-7-15-2011
EAB Resident Letter-10-13-2011

The University of Illinois Extension has developed a nice tree selection website.  More information is available here.


Dayton Power and Light has recently started an educational initiative to encourage tree planting that will not directly conflict with power lines.  The goal of the campaign is to educate property owners on planting the right tree in the right place so that utility trimming is minimized or eliminated in the future.  Dayton Power and Light has provided a Right Tree, Right Place Brochure.  In addition, their Right Tree, Right Place Website has additional resources available for property owners.


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Shade Tree Commission 2013 Minutes

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