Ash trees on city sidewalk space

(Note:  Pesticide applicator ID # for Will Frerichs, Frerichs Tree Service, is NEB090803)

City of Lincoln homeowners need to be aware that the sidewalk space (the area beween the street and sidewalk) is nearly always actually city-owned property.  Since the city owns the space, they perform all maintenance needed (trimming and removal) for these trees at taxpayer expense.  (One exception is sidewalk space trees on streets with blue street signs.  These are privately owned property, likely maintained by your association.)  Streets that do not have a sidewalk can be trickier to determine where the right of way is located.  Be aware that in some instances the city right of way space extends well beyond the sidewalk.  See the bottom of this page for more information.

They city does treat a small fraction of right of way trees for EAB, and it is my understanding that homeowners whose trees have been treated by the city are notified when this happens.  While city ash trees number in the tens of thousands, it is my understanding that the number of trees treated by the city number only in the thousands.

On December 10th, 2018 the city council approved a plan to allow homeowners to “adopt” a tree and treat city sidewalk space trees at homeowner expense by hiring a licensed arborist.  This plan excludes trees growing under power lines.  The no-cost permit process allows City Forestry to keep a database of trees which have been treated.  If your treated tree remains healthy, it should be spared from the city’s ash removal program.  Click here to read the City of Lincoln Emerald Ash Borer Response and Recovery Plan.  For more information or to “adopt” your ash tree for treatment, call City of Lincoln Forestry at 402-441-7847 or visit

Emamectin benzoate injection (discussed here as my Stage 3 method) is used on all ash trees located on city property.  Call anytime for a consultation on whether it makes sense to protect the ash tree on the right-of-way adjacent to your home or business.

Some streets do not have uniform sidewalk spaces.   In instances where one is uncertain whether a tree is on city property or not, a call can be made to 402-441-7847.  City Forestry has a database from which they can provide the right of way measurement for your street measured in feet.  One can then measure one half of the figure provided from the center of the street to determine the homeowner/city boundary.  (Sidewalks are 4 feet wide, and the right of way line is commonly, but not always, another 4 feet closer to your home.  Older neighborhoods have more exceptions to this trend than new ones.)  For instance, some streets have unequal measurements from the center to each side.

Click here to go back to the home page.