Street Trees

Tree City USA

Liberty first became a Tree City in 2005. This honor recognizes the City’s concerted efforts to maintain and improve the health and beauty of its tree population.

Tree City Logo

Healthy Trees

Healthy trees are a valuable asset to any community. Trees naturally enhance the aesthetics of an area while purifying the air, providing relief from the hot summer sun, and blocking the cold winter wind.

Please help Liberty take full advantage of the many benefits trees can provide to this community. Proper planting, pruning and watering techniques can go a long way in improving and maintaining the health and longevity of our trees. Treating or removing failing trees will make neighborhoods safer and more beautiful. 

Plant it Properly

In general, trees should be planted in a shallow sloping hole and at a depth where the root flare is just above soil line in a hole that is 2 to 3 times the root ball diameter. Backfill with the existing native soil without amendments tamping progressively. All strings, burlap and metal cages should be removed while keeping the root ball intact. Water well and spread 4 inches of mulch keeping it away from the trunk. Staking, which is optional, should use stakes with flexible ties on the lower of the trunk which allows movement. Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation's Tree Care webpage for additional information on how to plant a tree properly.

When it comes to street trees, or those trees planted between the street curb and the sidewalk, we hope you will help plant a diverse variety of trees. If you need help selecting trees for your property, be sure to visit the Missouri Department of Conservation's  Right Tree for the Right Place (PDF).

Liberty’s Tree List

Trees for Areas Near Power Lines

The following tree species typically mature to less than 30 feet in height. As a result, these are ideal choices if planting near overhead power lines:

  • American Smoketree (Cotonis obovatus)
  • Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)
  • 'Flame’ Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)
  • Flowering Crabapple (Malus)
  • Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
  • Hedge Maple (Acer campestre)
  • Japenese Tree lilac (Syringa reticulata)
  • Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
  • Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum)
  • ‘Winter King’ Green Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis)

Trees for Areas Free of Power Lines

Because the following tree species mature over 30 feet in height, they should be planted at least 30 feet from overhead utilities:

  • American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
  • American Linden (Tilia americana)
  • Black Oak (Quercus veluntina)
  • Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica)
  • Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
  • English Oak (Quercus robur)
  • European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  • Freeman Maple (Acer x freemanii)
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
  • Golden Raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
  • Hackberry (Celtis occidenttalis)
  • Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
  • Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
  • Japanese Zelkova (Zelcova serrata)
  • Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
  • Lacebark Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
  • Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata)
  • Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
  • Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
  • Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima)
  • Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)
  • Shantung Maple (Acer truncatum)
  • Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria)
  • Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)
  • Silver Linden (Tilia tomentosa)
  • Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
  • Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)
  • Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)
  • Tatarian Maple (Acer tataricum)
  • Turkish Filbert (Corylus colurna)
  • Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)
  • Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)
Trees Not Suitable in the City of Liberty’s Rights of Way
The following trees should not be planted due to insect or disease problems, weak wood, messy droppings, or line of sight issues:
  • Ash
  • Black Cherry
  • Black Locust
  • Black Walnut
  • Box Elder
  • Bradford Pear and all Callery Pear varieties
  • Cottonwood
  • European White Birch
  • Evergreens
  • Lombardy Poplar 
  • Mimosa
  • River Birch
  • Russian Olive
  • Siberian Elm
  • Silver Maple
  • Silver Poplar
  • Tree-Of-Heaven
  • Willow
Exemption Process
These lists are not comprehensive. If you would like to plant a tree in the City of Liberty’s right-of-way that is not currently on the recommended tree list, please contact the Parks and Open Space Manager at 816-439-4384 to determine if that tree is appropriate.

Planting Guidelines

A tree’s biological needs, its shape and size at maturity, and its function in your landscape help determine the best tree to plant in a particular location. Select trees that grow well in this climate and your soil.

Think about what the trees will look like at maturity. How tall will they grow? What shape will they be? The following guidelines are designed to ensure that the placement of street trees does not negatively affect driver or pedestrian visibility or harm structures in close proximity to the tree.
  • Along arterial and collector streets, trees should not be planted closer than 140 feet from the corner.
  • Along residential collectors and local streets, trees should be planted at least 30 feet from the corner.
  • Trees should be planted at least 10 feet from a driveway.
  • Trees should be planted at least 10 feet from a gas valve, water valve, cable box, or any above ground utility.
  • Trees with an average mature height of more than 30 feet should not be planted under overhead utility wires.
  • Trees should be planted at least 10 feet from a fire hydrant.
Along with these guidelines, please contact the Parks and Open Space manager at 816-439-4384 if you are interested in planting a street tree.