City Tree Maintenance


New Albany’s street trees provide numerous benefits. As part of the urban forest, street trees absorb storm water, filter and cool the air, increase property values, and improve the walkability of the community. New Albany staff recognizes the importance in preserving, creating, and maintaining a vibrant urban forest. New Albany is a “Tree City USA” community and has maintained that designation since 2010.

New Albany’s public service department maintains trees on public property and prioritizes the care of street trees in the right-of-way. Generally, trees located on a homeowner’s private property are the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain. Throughout the year, public service crews actively prune, plant, and remove trees along city streets to encourage growth of a strong, healthy and attractive urban forest.

New Albany Street Tree Program

If you have a question or concern about a street tree, please complete the Tree Evaluation Request Form at the bottom of this page.

New Albany will use the following process for tree removal and replacement:

  1. Property owner or Homeowners Association (HOA) with a street tree concern contacts the New Albany Public Service Department through the below form. Residents in the New Albany Country Club Community Association are required to contact their HOA.
  2. New Albany Public Service Department will evaluate tree(s) and respond via email within 30 days with a recommended action.
  3. If tree removal is recommended, the City or a selected contractor will remove the tree and provide stump grinding.
  4. The property owner or HOA will be responsible for a cost sharing payment of $150.00 towards each tree replacement and will receive a Tree Installation Request form with payment due.
  5. All tree replacements will be scheduled following receipt of payment for autumn.
  6. Property owner will be responsible for critical early care of newly planted trees including watering, mulching & fertilizing as needed; the City will provide information regarding the proper care of newly planted trees.

The New Albany public service department schedules tree plantings every autumn, according to species availability and requirements. The city shall have sole discretion over the selection of species for all new tree plantings and will install new tree plantings on a first-come, first-served basis. Newly installed trees shall be no less than a two-inch caliper. Each new tree installation will be performed under the guidance and inspection of New Albany’s public service staff.

Proper Tree Planting

Trees not only create a beautiful backdrop, they also help purify our air and water, reduce erosion by slowing rain droplets, remove carbon from the air, regulate the climate and positively impact wildlife habitats. One of the best things you can do for the environment is plant a tree

To properly plant a tree:

  1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TREE AND THE RIGHT PLACE. Trees need plenty of room to grow above and below ground. Check for any utilities that could become a problem for the tree in its life cycle. Make sure to select the right sized tree that will thrive in the space you want to plant it.
  2. DETERMINE THE PROPER DEPTH & WIDTH TO BURY THE TREE. Before grabbing a shovel, find the right depth to dig the hole by finding the trunk/root flare. This may not always be visible when buying a tree from the local nursery. You will need to take some of the soil off the top of the root ball to find where the root flare begins. You also need to know how wide to dig the hole. Most planting holes can be dug at 1.5x the diameter of the root ball. In some cases where compaction is an issue, digging 2 to 3 times the diameter the root ball will be better. This will give a better start to early root growth. To check that we have met the right depth, you can place your shovel or a board across the planting hole and measure.
  3. PLACE THE TREE IN THE HOLE. Be careful when lifting the tree. Don’t lift from the trunk, instead lift the ball or roll the ball into the hole. The root ball can damage the roots if lifted by the trunks. Move the root ball around the best you can to get the tree level. This will be important in the stability of the tree.
  4. PREP AND BACKFILL THE HOLE. Before backfilling the hole, there are a few more things that need to be done to help with the root establishment. ANSI Standards and the ISA Best Management Practices recommend that you remove at least the top third of the basket and burlap. One more key and final step before backfilling the hole, is to check for girdled or circling roots. These could cause serious damage to the roots or trunk later in the trees life. It is better to start the roots growing in the right direction. Now you are ready to backfill around the root ball. This will be done in two stages. First fill the hole halfway with dirt. Before filling the rest of the hole, it is beneficial to water the soil. This will remove any large air pockets, creating better stability for the tree. When filling the remaining section of the hole, keep in mind not to cover up the trunk/root flare.
  5. MULCH PROPERLY. Mulch is not just for aesthetics, it is also healthy for a tree if installed properly. Too many times, trees are over mulched. A thin layer of 2 to 4 inches of mulch should be spread evenly across the root zone, making sure no mulch is directly in contact with the trunk flare (this could keep the trunk moist, causing decay in the base).
  6. INSTALL TREE STAKES IF NECESSARY. If the tree cannot stand freely on its own, stakes can be placed to help with the support. The ties for the tree should be flat and wide to prevent girdling into the tree. They should also be a little loose to give the tree some movement. Movement is what creates a better root system and good trunk taper.
  7. WATER PROPERLY. Rain alone will not properly establish a new tree. Early on, provide the tree with 5-10 gallons of water per trunk inch each week.

The more time and effort you put into your tree, the more it will give back to you and Mother Nature in the future.

Emerald Ash Borer Infestation

The emerald ash borer (EAB) was identified in Ohio in 2003. Since then, the Ohio Department of Agriculture has been battling the pest through detection, regulation, education and eradication to protect Ohio’s 3.8 billion ash trees. EAB was identified in Franklin County in 2009. EAB insect kills ash trees within three to five years of infestation by eating the cell division layer of the trunk. Larvae spend the rest of the year developing beneath the bark.

To date, infestations have been identified in 59 Ohio counties.

Diagnostic Signs and Symptoms Specific to EAB

  • D-Shaped exit holes in the trunk (1/8” in diameter).
  • Serpentine, S-shaped tunnels just under the bark.
  • Creamy white larva (1” in length) just beneath the bark.
  • Thinning tree canopy and top die back.
  • Unnatural shoots sprouting from the trunk, or base of tree.
  • Thin, short, vertical splits (2 – 5”) running through the bark.
  • Unusually heavy woodpecker activity, particularly during the winter months.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Emerald Ash Borer Program

Tree Evaluation Request Form

This form to be completed by: Property owner, property management company or HOA representative, to inform the New Albany Public Service Department of street trees in need of removal and replacement.

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Public Service
7800 Bevelhymer Road
New Albany, OH 43054

Phone: 614-855-0076
Fax: 614-855-8585

Trees add character to our neighborhoods, cool our homes and cities, clean our air and increase property values.