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The Village of Winnetka takes great pride in its tree-lined streets and plentiful green space. Preserving the natural beauty of the community’s urban forest remains a top priority. A forestry program has been active in Winnetka for many years. The Village Forester oversees reforestation, tree preservation, and tree maintenance. A packet on Winnetka’s forestry procedures is also available for further information.

The reforestation program is designed to plant trees in existing voids and to replace dead or diseased trees located on public property. The Village Forester, in conjunction with the Environmental & Forestry Commission, has developed a Master Tree Planting List that contains tree species tolerant of urban conditions within Winnetka. Ultimately, the Village Forester is responsible for recommending the tree species best suited to each specific site and will implement watering programs when drought conditions arise.

Tree preservation ordinances were enacted in Winnetka to protect against the indiscriminate removal of trees on private property. Homeowners are required to apply for a removal permit if a tree measures 8-inches or more in diameter at breast height (DBH). When permission is requested to remove a protected tree, the Village Forester will inspect the tree in question to determine its size, health, the reason for removal, and whether replacement trees are required. If removal is permitted, a deposit per diameter inch of tree replacement is required before work is performed; A landscape plan must receive Village Forester approval and be installed coorectly before tree deposit is refunded.

Lastly, the Village’s tree maintenance program consists of removal of dead, diseased, or hazardous parkway trees and regular tree maintenance pruning. Parkway trees are generally pruned on a six to seven year cycle to develop good branching form and to improve tree health. The Village Forester also surveys private properties to identify diseased and/or dead Elm and Ash trees and will contact homeowners if trees must be removed. Winnetka has been designated a Tree City USA Community since 1991. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in cities throughout the country. Today, over 135 million people live in a Tree City USA.

Winter Season Tree Pruning

Timing Advantages:

  • No foliage means easier to achieve proper tree structure.
  • Winter pruning does not attract insects or disease problems.
  • Prune weak, dead, damaged branches and reduce crown density, produces a better tree to withstand severe summer storms.
  • Winter pruning is less damaging to the surrounding landscape plants.
  • Winter pruning of trees is less stressful on trees.
  • Proper pruned trees allow air and sunlight circulation during growing season.


If you need a tree inspection or have tree questions please call the Village Forester at 847-716-3535.

Spring Public and Private Tree Planting Program


The Village is taking requests for the parkway tree planting program on public streets.  The Village plants 2” – 2 ½” trunk diameter size street trees where voids exist, at no cost to residents.  Larger trees are available, but residents are responsible for cost differences.

The Village also has a private tree planting program offered to residents for front yards only.  Several shade and ornamental tree species are offered from 1” – 2” diameter size.  Residents are responsible for the total cost of the private tree and planting.

Contact the Village Forester to request an application, or more information.  The deadline for all spring tree requests is April 27.


If you need a tree inspection or have tree questions please call the Village Forester at 847-716-3535.

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