Tree Programs

Council Bluffs is recognized as a Tree City USA. Tree City USA is greening communities across the country. This program is a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of an urban tree canopy and improve the care of these vital city trees. Parks and Recreation encourages and assists residents with planting trees within neighborhoods and along streets. You can report a tree problem, or inquire about planting trees on the public right-of-way by calling the Parks and Recreation Department. 

Emerald Ash Borer

The City has over 1,260 ash trees.  The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a highly destructive, wood-boring insect that destroys ash trees. Without intervention, the City is at risk of losing a significant portion of its ash trees to EAB.  Several years ago, a treatment plan was prepared and by following this plan, we anticipate close to 97% of our ash trees being treated. 

Emerald Ash Borer Facts

  • The Emerald Ash Borer was initially discovered in Michigan in 2002
  • It's native to Asia and eastern Russia.
  • The adult EAB is about the size of a penny.
  • The adult female lays eggs on the bark or in bark crevices, the larvae chew through the outer layers of the bark and feed on the inner bark.
  • The larvae stage causes destructive damage to the ash tree.
  • The adults live for about 20 days.

The treatment plan is a ten-year treatment with an evaluation each year on the effectiveness of treatment.  The estimated cost for treatment over the ten-year period is 2.3 million.

Heart of the City

The Heart of the City program is a free tree planting program and is designed to beautify our city neighborhoods. The program provides residents an opportunity to have a tree planted in their neighborhood. For more information call 712-890-5291.

Plant Some Shade 

Pottawattamie County residents are eligible to purchase trees through the Plant Some Shade program.  This program is a partnership initiative to aid long-term energy and natural resource conservation. The program is administered by the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board, Pottawattamie Conservation Foundation, City of Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation, Council Bluffs Trees Forever, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources — Bureau of Forestry. This program is offered in the spring of each year.  

Street Trees

Urban Street trees and neighborhood street trees offer an array of benefits to the community.  Street trees offer an aesthetic value and have been proven to serve as a traffic calming measure within residential neighborhoods.  As part of our commitment to having our streets lined with appropriate trees, the Horticulture and Grounds Division staff have prepared a street tree planting guide to help with tree selection. Refer to our related links section below.