Urban Forestry


The Urban Forestry Division manages Covington’s green infrastructure so as to improve the health of our residents and the aesthetics of city streets. This includes planting and pruning trees located along streets and also in parks, vacant lots, and public green spaces.

The division oversees the administration of Covington’s urban forestry ordinances, reviews landscaping improvements for compliance with regulations, oversees invasive species management, and develops forestry best practices and master plans.

Covington Tree Inventory Map

In 2021 the City unveiled a tree inventory map that, among other things, allows forestry fans to search by neighborhood, tree size, and tree type. Once the colored “circles” show a tree’s location, clicking on them will bring up additional information, including a link to an online page related to that tree’s scientific name. Note: The information is based on a survey conducted by a private contractor a few years ago, so it might not reflect newly planted or removed trees.

Covington Urban Forestry Board

The Covington Urban Forestry Board is a City-appointed volunteer board that meets monthly to advise and assist on a wide range of forestry-related issues, initiatives, and concerns. For information, see the Urban Forestry Facebook page.

Street trees

If you would to plant, prune, or remove a tree in the space between the sidewalk and the street in front of your house, fill out this Street Tree Permit before you start work. In some cases, there is a nominal fee, which you pay with this Permit Fee Form. You can also request a tree (planted by the City) by emailing pmoore@covingtonky.gov to get on a seasonal planting schedule.

The City prunes street trees on a regular schedule. But if weather and/or disease have damaged a street tree and it needs special attention, you can bring it to the City’s attention by submitting an iWorQ work order request, calling Public Works at (859) 292-2292, or contacting Urban Forestry at (859) 380-5944 or pmoore@covingtonky.gov.

Private property trees

  • If you have questions about a tree on private property, you can reach out to Patrick Moore at pmoore@covingtonky.gov.
  • Trees on private property generally don’t fall under City regulation unless they’re in a historic overlay zone or on a hillside where their removal could affect slope stability or storm drainage. In those cases, they may fall within the purview of the Neighborhood Development Code related to hillsides or tree preservation.
  • The City is contacted often by people with complaints or concerns about a neighbor’s tree. We encourage neighbors, if possible, to work out those disputes. The City gets involved only if the tree and/or its limbs pose a threat to safety or there is a risk of imminent property damage (such as that caused by falling limbs or a dead tree). In that case, if you have already talked to your neighbor about the hazardous tree and they have not taken action to eliminate the risk, you can report the issue to Code Enforcement at codeenforcement@covingtonky.gov.

Landmark Tree Program

The Landmark Tree Program is a ceremonial recognition of trees in the public realm (and in some cases, on private property) that are deemed significant for their age, historical significance, rarity, size, and/or aesthetic qualities. To nominate a tree, fill out the Landmark Tree Nomination Form.

Memorial trees

If you would like to plant a “memorial” tree in honor of a loved one in a City park or public area, email Patrick Moore at pmoore@covingtonky.gov. Many such trees are planted in Rotary Grove in Devou Park.

Benefits of trees:

Trees not only beautify a community but also offer numerous environmental and health benefits, including some unexpected ones. For example, trees:

  • Slow down rain run-off and filter out pollutants, resulting in cleaner water.
  • Filter out air pollutants, resulting in cleaner air.
  • Absorb carbon, helping to mitigate the impact of climate change.
  • Block sunlight, reducing the “urban heat island” effect and reducing the energy needed to cool buildings.
  • Block street noise.
  • And attract wildlife and pollinators.

Furthermore, in-depth studies show that because of a “calming effect,” communities that significantly expand their tree canopies over time report:

  • Lower rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, as well as less respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
  • Better and more sleep among residents.
  • Increased academic success and creativity.
  • Reductions in crime.
  • Improved mental health, including lower rates of anxiety and depression and lower incidences of behaviors associated with ADHD and autism.
  • Better birthweights and fewer preterm births.

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