Columbus has earned a Tree City USA Designation from the Arbor Day Foundation

The City of Columbus earns it first Tree City USA award designation.

Article Link


Questions about mature trees in the median or between the sidewalk and the curb?
Public Works  812-376-2508

Questions about new trees between the sidewalk and the curb?
Engineering  812-376-2540

Questions about trees in the parks?
Parks & Recreation  812-376-2680

Questions about trees in new subdivisions?
Planning  812-376-2550

Arbor Day 2023

See the links below for Arbor Day Events in the area.  Arbor Day is Friday, April 28.

Bartholomew County Soil & Water Conservation District Tree Giveaway

Street Tree Ordinance and Tree Work Manual

In early 2021, several City Departments and interested citizens began work in redrafting the outdated Street Trees and Shrubs Ordinance in the Columbus Municipal Code (origin date unknown).  To assist with the development of the ordinance, the Davey Resource Group was contracted to collect and provide street tree ordinance survey data from throughout the State of Indiana, provide street tree ordinance trends, and street tree ordinance best management practices.

This ordinance only applies to trees on public property, including trees in medians and trees in the right-of-way, so the intent of the replacement ordinance is to better reflect the City’s current street tree care practices, property owner responsibility, and standards for street tree care.

Tree Manual:

The Tree Work Manual is a companion document, adopted separately by the Board of Works, to provide guidance on the best management practices for street tree care.  It is written to be updated by the Board as the best management practices evolve and as circumstances change over time.

Tree Manual & Street Tree Ordinance Link

Public Urban Forestry Management Plan

The City recently contracted the services of the Davey Resource Group to 5th Streetperform a partial tree inventory for trees in the right-of-way (commonly referred to as street trees) for the area known as the “Big Block” (generally from 25th Street south to 2nd Street and from Jackson Street east to Central Avenue).  A total of 4,009 sites were recorded: 2,984 street trees, 180 stumps, and 845 planting sites.  The data collection included, location, tree species, size, and condition.  With that data, Davey Resource Group was also contracted to provide an analysis of those trees and to create an Urban Forest Management Plan for public street trees.

A management plan is intended to help develop a prioritized maintenance and proactive inspection and pruning cycles based on the inventory data to improve tree health. Other elements of a street tree management plan include developing a tree planting program to mitigate necessary removals, increase canopy cover, to develop a public outreach program to understand the benefits of urban trees, and to explore the many ways the community can help support the City’s overall urban tree canopy.

The Management Plan and Street Tree Inventory was initiated by the Tree Canopy Partners which is a group made up of Columbus citizens, the Columbus Planning Department, the Department of Public Works and the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.  The Plan was funded by a 50/50 matching grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Community and Urban Forestry program (IDNR CUF) in cooperation with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) through its Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Grant Program.

Public Urban Forestry Management Plan Link