Parks and Recreation

Free Tree Distribution

All 250 trees from the Nebraska Emerald Ash Borer Recovery grant have been claimed. Thank you for your interest in this event!

The City of Norfolk was recently awarded a Nebraska EAB Recovery grant, a collaborative program of the Peter Kiewit Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation to promote proactive tree recovery efforts with the impending effects of the emerald ash borer (EAB). With the funds from this award, the City will be able to hand out 250 large-sized trees free of cost to individuals in the Norfolk area. Thirteen varieties of large-sized trees will be available to choose from, ranging in size from one to three gallons. 

This distribution will help kick off the City’s newest initiative, “2020 in 2020”, which invites “everyone” to plant one tree in the hopes of planting 2,020 trees throughout the year. The City of Norfolk is a proud partner of the Arbor Day Foundation and the free tree distribution is made possible by partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and Peter Kiewit Foundation.

Tree Considerations

Trees are an important part of a community. Proper tree selection and maintenance can increase property
values, reduce heating and cooling costs, and provide countless environmental benefits. To achieve the
optimum benefit from the trees, homeowners should give careful thought to the selection, planting, and
maintenance of their trees. Regulations that pertain to trees are contained in Chapter 25 of the Norfolk
City Code, and include the following:

  • Property owners are responsible for all trees on their property, in addition to those trees on the
    adjacent terrace and alley.
  • No tree, other than a small tree with a mature height of 15 feet or less should be planted within 10
    lateral feet of any overhead utility wire.
  • Evergreen trees are not to be planted in the terrace area.
  • Trees are not to be planted closer than 5 feet to the back of the curb.
  • Trees and shrubs are not to be planted within 10 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • On corner lots, there shall be no planting or obstruction to vision more than 3 feet higher than the
    curb level within 25 feet of the intersection of the street lines.
  • Trees must be maintained to provide 8 feet of clearance over the sidewalk, and 14 feet of
    clearance over any street or alley.
  • Trees must be maintained so as to not interfere with any public utility, and not obstruct any traffic
    control device.
  • Trees on public property, including the terrace, should not be topped.

Planting the right tree for the right location is very important. Equally important is the care that is given to
a tree as it grows. Timely pruning of a tree using proper pruning methods is a necessary part of proper
tree development. Consider:

  • Mulch with wood bark or chips, to retain moisture and prevent injury from mowers and trimmers.
  • Prune so as to not leave a stub, but do not flush cut the limb.
  • Water trees when the soil begins to dry. Do not over water.

For questions about Norfolk's Tree Regulations, contact the Health Official at 844-2046

Nebraska811 - Diggers Hotline 

efore you dig, call the diggers hotline: #811

Nebraska811 is a free service for anyone who is planning a digging project. Nebraska State law requires anyone who digs to place a locate request at least two full business days before digging. Once your request is submitted, utilities will locate and mark their lines.

 By placing a call or an online request with Nebraska811, damage to underground utility lines can be prevented as well as costs for repairs, loss of use and injury.

 For more information, visit