Location of street trees is very important for the safety of the residents and the longevity of the tree. The following are minimum criteria that must be met when planting trees within the right-of-way, and are defined in Municipal Code Article VII Trees and Shrubs which can be found here.
If streetlight cables are located in the area to be planted, the street tree shall be planted closer to the sidewalk.
Kansas One-Call (811), Water One (913/895.1800) must be contacted prior to planting for utility locates. Trees shall be placed to avoid conflicts with existing utilities.
Trees are a long-term commitment, so it is important that the right species be chosen. Trees within the right-of-way (street trees) must be deciduous, and have a mature height of over 25 feet.
Small trees are only allowed where an overhead power line exists or when the tree can be planted at least 6 feet from a sidewalk or curb.
Fruiting trees, those with messy fruits or weak branch structure, are not allowed within the right-of-way.
The right-of-way can vary depending on the street, however, in most cases it is 50 feet wide or 25 feet from the center of the road.
If your house has a sidewalk, this is the green space located between the sidewalk and the curb. If you do not have a sidewalk, it is typically measured 11 feet from the back of the curb.
The property owner is responsible for routinely trimming street trees of dead wood, and to meet height clearance requirements. These clearances are defined as 8 feet over the sidewalk and 12.5 feet over the street. This requirement is difficult to reach on a small tree with a mature height of less than 25 feet, thus excluding them from the approved list.
This list acts as a guide but in no way encompasses all the species and cultivars allowed to be planted in the right-of-way. To plant a species not on the list please contact the Merriam Public Works Department prior to planting.
To give your tree the best chance for survival, proper planting is essential. Too often we see trees that have been planted improperly and consequently will never reach maturity.