City of Springfield, Illinois

James O. Langfelder - Mayor

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Urban Forestry Commission


Welcome to the City of Springfield Urban Forestry Commission's (UFC) website. At the Commission, we love trees and hope you do too. Trees provide many benefits to individuals and communities, including cleaning air, contributing to our health, adding value to homes, reducing neighborhood temperatures, reducing storm water run-off, saving energy, and improving business. Each dollar invested in tree planting returns four to five dollars to the community. These are some of the reasons Springfield plants several hundred trees a year. Unfortunately, the City has to remove several hundred dying and dead trees a year. Providing input to the City on issues relating to trees is the Urban Forestry Commission's primary mission.

Although the Commission's first year of existence was interrupted by the Covid-19 shelter in place order, we've had a number of accomplishments to date: hosting tree/nature seminars (pre-Covid-19), developing a tree plan, reviewing the City Arborist's Arboricultural Specifications Manual, and distributing over 100 oak trees for planting by residents.

Visit this site to learn more about our activities, participate in educational offerings, and get answers to your tree-related questions. We would love to hear from you.

2020-2021 UFC Commission
Jan Von Qualen, Chair

  Mission & Responsibilities

  1. amendments to the Springfield tree ordinance, Arboricultural Specifications Manual, and the urban forestry plan;
  2. policy concerning selections, planting, maintenance, and removal of trees, shrubs, and other plants on city-owned property;
  3. allocation of funds, grants or gifts to the City of Springfield intended for use by the city arborist, and all expenditures of said funds by the city arborist;
  4. establishment or presentation of educational and/or informational horticultural programs for the City of Springfield;
  5. development of policies regarding the arborist's duties;
  6. issuance of permits or licenses required by the City Code in accordance with the Code or procedures, Rules, or regulations approved by the Commission; and
  7. development of procedures, rules, or regulations pursuant to City Code.

  Save the Date

April is Tree Month! The Springfield Urban Forestry Commission is hosting two events.

Oak Tree Research and the Advantage of Native Plants
April 7, 2022
7:00 p.m.
Virtual Educational Program (via Zoom) Click here to join.

Panel Discussion
  • Amy McEuen, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, UIS Biology Department, and UFC member
  • Lucia Vazquez, Ph.D., Full Professor of Biology, UIS Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation
  • Moderator: Alderwoman Erin Conley, Ward 8, and B.A., Plant Biology

Springfield Arbor Day Celebration
April 29, 2022
3:30 p.m.
Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois
300 S. 15th Street in Springfield
Co-Sponsors of the event:

  • City of Springfield Urban Forestry Commission, Mayor James O. Langfelder
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois, Tiffany Mathis, CEO
  • Springfield Art Association, Betsy Dollar, Executive Director

  Springfield Named Tree City USA┬«

The Arbor Day Foundation announced that Springfield, Illinois was named a 2020 Tree City USA in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. The city also received a Tree City, USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and higher level of tree care.

Springfield achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program's four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Association of State Foresters.

  2022 Tree Inventory

The City of Springfield, in partnership with the UFC, was awarded a $20,000 grant through the Morton Arboretum to conduct a Tree Inventory. The inventory began in January 2022 in the northeast quadrant of the city and done by the Great Lakes Urban Forestry Management. The inventory focused in the area bounded by Camp Sangamon Road on the north; Walnut Street on the west; South Grand Avenue on the south and the City limits, east of I-55, on the east. Trees on City-owned property and right-of-ways were inventoried and completed around the end of January.

  Ask an Expert

Q. What are the best trees to plant in Springfield?

A. That's a good question and the best answer is, it depends on the location. Some nice small trees that would do well in Springfield are: Red Bud, Japanese Maple, and Autumn Brilliance Service Berry. Some recommendations for medium sized trees are: Magnolia, American Hornbeam, and Ironwood. Larger tree recommendations are: Bur Oak, Silver Linden, and Horse Chestnut. Remember that diversity of trees planted is wise, so that disease or insect predators, such as Dutch Elm Disease or the emerald ash borer, don't decimate tree populations across the city.


Ruth Oliver, a tree advocate, and Susan Allen, a UFC member, had a sunny day on September 15, 2021, to add tree messages to a public mural on Third Street between Adams and Monroe Streets in Springfield.

Scheduled Board Meetings

Meeting Date Location Attachments
11/9/2022 at 3:30 PM TBD
9/14/2022 at 3:30 PM TBD
7/13/2022 at 3:30 PM TBD
5/11/2022 at 3:30 PM 300 S. 7th, Room 203
3/9/2022 at 3:30 PM 300 S 7th, Room 203
1/12/2022 at 3:30 PM 300 S. 7th, Rm 203 & Zoom
11/5/2021 at 2:00 PM Via Zoom (see Agenda)
11/1/2021 at 8:00 AM 2021 UFC Annual Report
10/20/2021 at 3:30 PM 300 S 7th, Room 203 & via zoom
9/8/2021 at 4:00 PM Via Zoom (see Agenda)
7/14/2021 at 4:00 PM Via Zoom (see Agenda)
5/12/2021 at 4:00 PM Via Zoom (see Agenda)
3/10/2021 at 2:00 PM Via Zoom (see Agenda)
1/13/2021 at 2:00 PM Via Zoom
12/8/2020 at 8:00 AM 2020 Spfld Urban Forestry Commission Annual Report
11/4/2020 at 2:00 PM Via Zoom
9/9/2020 at 5:00 PM Council Chambers, 300 S. 7th
8/12/2020 at 2:00 PM Via Zoom must register
6/10/2020 at 2:00 PM Pre-register for Zoom Mtg see attachment
5/21/2020 at 10:00 AM Zoom Mtg see dial in info
3/13/2020 at 3:00 PM 300 S. 7th, Public Works Conf Rm 203
3/11/2020 at 5:00 PM Council Chambers, 300 S. 7th
2/21/2020 at 3:00 PM 300 S. 7th, Conf Rm 203
2/7/2020 at 3:00 PM 300 S. 7th, Room 203