DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Decatur City Council approved a residential tree planting program last March that allows residents to get up to $400 for planting a tree.

Approved applicants of the program will be reimbursed for 80% of the tree planting cost to a maximum reimbursement of $400.

The city council said applicants must be the property owner to be eligible for the city’s Tree Grant. Once the application is submitted, the city will review it for available funds, advise the property owner of their application status and provide any special instructions.

Funding for this program is on a first-come, first-served basis and is dependent on the city council authorizing funding from year to year. The city council said those not able to be funded one year can be placed on a list for funding if available the following year.

The property owner will receive authorization for funding once their application is approved. They can then contact a Macon County tree provider to purchase the tree of their choice to be installed. The city council said the tree must meet the requirements and be installed by the tree provider.

Once the tree has been planted, property owners are advised to fill out the tree grant reimbursement request.

Reimbursement of 80% up to $400 will be granted and a check will be mailed to the property owner once the work passes inspection by the city. The city council said the city will also provide the owner with a slow-release waterbag to help maintain the new tree.

The city council shared some tips to remember for those taking part in the program. These include:

  • The city assumes no liability for any defective work or other damage, injury, or loss resulting from any act or omission of the tree provider or installer in performing the work.
  • The property owner is responsible for all future maintenance and/or replacement costs and is the owner of the new tree. They are responsible for its future progress and success, including ongoing watering as recommended by the tree provider.  
  • The city does not own, maintain, or warranty the new tree.
  • To be eligible for reimbursement, the tree must be at least a 2-inch caliper in size.
  • The tree must be planted on the street side of the property, at least 10 feet off the right of way and a maximum of 30 feet off the right of way. 
  • The tree must be planted by the tree provider and approved by the city prior to final reimbursement.

The city said to call the City of Decatur’s Municipal Services Center at 217-875-4820 for all program questions.