Trees & Tree Canopy

Residents can call 859-292-3686 or email the City of Newport to contact the Newport Community Services Department with questions on any tree issue.

About Public Street & Park Trees in Newport

The City of Newport acknowledges how important trees and tree canopy is for a livable community. Trees and tree canopy is important to the City of Newport for a number of reasons, read the executive summary here.

We take seriously the stewardship of our trees and work to implement our community goal in place.

Tree Canopy Goal in Newport

The City of Newport recognizes the value of trees within the community. As such, Newport's goal is to, at minimum, maintain the existing tree canopy cover (amount of city covered by trees when viewed from above) at the current 33%, while working to improve the quality and health of the current canopy as well as equalize the tree canopy cover between neighborhoods - all while maintaining public safety.

Efforts to Work Toward These Goals

The City has taken a number of steps to work toward the tree canopy goals described:

  • Part-time Arborist on Staff - Newport now has an ISA Certified Arborist on staff on a part-time basis to provide expert assistance in the proper care, maintenance and reforesting of the City of Newport.
  • Building a Proactive Care Program - The City is taking steps to transition into a proactive care program for its public trees. Though a proactive care program can take time to implement properly, this is considered the best practices for care of public trees, and will reduce risk, extend the life of our trees, and in the long term will increase canopy and save the city money. Each year a small section of the public trees will be re-assessed and re-inventoried, and appropriate proactive care (primarily pruning) performed later that year.
  • Updates to Tree Protection - The public tree ordinance was updated in 2019 to better clarify responsibilities, utilize industry standards, and set up rules (and fines) for any damage inflicted on these important city assets. Note: Permission is required before any work (planting, pruning, etc.) can be done on any street or park tree. Fines will be incurred for failure to follow the ordinance regulations. View the Tree Ordinance Summary/Highlights (PDF).
  • Incorporating Trees in New Development - The city arborist will be involved reviewing plans for development projects.
  • Tree Planting Support - The City will continue to work with the community on volunteer planting projects.
  • Volunteer Tree Planting - We have many groups who volunteer to plant trees in the City. Please read the guidelines before you plant. 

How We Manage Our Trees

How does the City manage its trees? All efforts to manage public trees are based on working toward the goal above. There are two structures in place that guide our daily management of city trees in Newport:

  • City Code: "Chapter 94 - Trees" of the Newport Code of Ordinances was updated in 2019 based on national best practices in tree care and management.
  • Management Policies and Procedures: There are then policies and procedures in place that guide the everyday management of this important asset.

These two pieces together build our management program.

Duke Energy is scheduled to prune tree branches away from overhead power lines in the East Row neighborhood starting in February and continuing through the spring of 2020. Learn more in the Tree Pruning by Duke brochure (PDF).