Street trees benefit our community in many ways. They define the character of our neighborhoods and add to the value of our properties. Street trees, typically located between the sidewalk and curb, provide aesthetic, environmental and socioeconomic benefits that help improve our quality of life.
Lexington has more than 53,000 street trees varying in age, size and species. Common tree species include varieties of maple, oak, dogwood and sycamore.
In Lexington, street trees are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to maintain.
Street trees need to be pruned to a height of at least seven feet above sidewalks and 12 feet above streets. This allows for vehicles to pass under them on the street and pedestrians to get by them on the sidewalk.
Removing and replacing a street tree
Property owners must obtain approval from the city to remove or replace a street tree. Fill out a permit. If the easement adjacent to your property does not currently have a street tree, you must still obtain a permit to plant one. Street trees that are removed must be replaced within one year. When looking for a company to remove or replace a street tree, ensure that the company is ISA certified. The ISA website makes it easy to search for a certified arborist in Lexington. You can use our TreeHarmony Quiz (under construction) to identify a tree that is suitable for your street tree replacement. Call (859) 258-3404 if you have questions about removing or replacing your street tree.
If you are planting something other than a tree, a permit is not required. However, such plants must be maintained to a height of 18” or less. For easement ornamental inspiration, visit Plant by Numbers.
Hazard street tree (cost-share) program
The city offers a financial incentive program to remove and replace trees in the public right-of-way easement. The property must be owner-occupied. The program provides a 50% reimbursement to eligible property owners for the cost of tree removal, stump grinding, and planting a new tree to replace the one being removed. There are provisions for 100% funding for low-income assistance for those who qualify. Participation is strictly voluntary, and funding is limited to a first-come, first-served basis.