Permissible Tree Planting

This guide provides information for selecting parkway trees not a part of the Share the Cost program. Trees are vital part of Flossmoor infrastructure, contributing energy savings, filtering Stormwater runoff and enhancing property values. This guide encourages choices compatible with the planting locations, minimizing damage to other public improvements and promotes species diversity. Any tree planted on the parkway will require the completion of the Occupation of Public Right of Way permit.

Occupation of Public Right of Way Policy (PDF)

Permissible Tree Planting List


Scientific name

Tree Description

Bur Oak

Quercus macrocarpa

The stately bur oak, native to the Midwest, is a great choice as a shade tree and for specimen plantings in parks, spacious yards, and other large areas. Read more about Bur Oak.

Northern Red Oak

Quercus rubra

Northern red oak is native to the Midwest and is one of the faster growing oaks for the home landscape. The leaves are handsome throughout the year, emerging pinkish-red, turning lustrous dark green in summer, and changing to russet-red to bright red in autumn. Its tolerance of salt and air pollution makes it a good tree for more exposed areas. Read more about Northern Red Oak.

White Oak

Quercus alba

White oak is a massive, long-lived stately tree with wide-spreading horizontal branches and wine-red fall color. This native tree provides shade for larger landscapes and parks. Read more about White Oak.

Swamp White Oak

Quercus bicolor

Swamp white oak is a striking tree with attractive peeling bark, especially on young trees. The lustrous, lobed leaves have a two-tone appearance, dark green on top with a silvery-white underside. Fall color is an orangeish-gold to yellow in mid-autumn. An excellent shade tree for any landscape. Read more about Swamp White Oak.

Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovata

Plant a shagbark hickory in a large landscape for excellent shade. This Midwest native is named for its bark, which peels away in large, flat, curving plates, giving the tree a shaggy appearance. As a member of the walnut family, the hickory produces edible nuts. Read more about Shagbark Hickory.

Bitternut Hickory

Carya cordiformis

Bitternut hickory is a large north American native tree, best reserved for larger landscapes. Like all hickories, debris from its fruit drops from late summer throughout autumn, making fall cleanup in urban areas more challenging. Read more about Bitternut Hickory.

Hop Hornbeam

Ostrya virginiana

Also known as Ironwood. A dainty but tough understory tree with beautiful birch-like leaves, grayish-brown flaky bark, fine-textured drooping branches, and attractive hop-like fruits. Ironwood is considered one of Illinois' toughest native hardwoods and is not only ornamental but resistant to many disease and insect problems. Excellent tree for naturalized landscapes. Read more about Hop Hornbeam.

American Hornbeam
Carpinus caroliniana

The American hornbeam is a native forest understory tree in the Chicago area, making it useful for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens. New leaves emerge reddish-purple, changing to dark green, then turn yellow to orange-red in the fall, offering a kaleidoscope of color throughout the year. Read more about American Hornbeam.

Canada Serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis

Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: This large deciduous shrub with many colony-forming erect stems is often found growing in swampy, wet sites in Eastern North America. In yards and landscapes in the Midwest, Canada Serviceberry is best suited for wet sites. It has white blooms in early spring followed by oval green leaves and edible red fruit, attractive to birds, in mid to late summer. The fall color is orange-red. Read more about Canada Serviceberry.

Black Walnut
Juglans nigra

The black walnut is a Chicago-area native tree that provides excellent shade for large properties. It needs to be sited with care, since the tree produces a chemical that is toxic to some other plants. This tree attracts wildlife including squirrels and the banded hairstreak butterfly. Read more about Black Walnut.

Sweet-gum Liquidambar styraciflua

Known for its unique star-shaped leaves with outstanding yellow, red, and purple fall color. Sweet-gum can be an excellent shade tree in the right location, away from foot traffic where the spiky "gumball" fruits will not be an annoyance. Read more about Sweet-Gum.


Liriodendron tulipifera

The tulip-tree is one of the largest native trees in North America. It is a member of the magnolia family and has distinct tulip-shaped characteristic in its leaves, flowers, and fruit. The showy, goblet-shaped, orange-yellow-green flowers appear in late spring after the leaves; the cone-like seed clusters sit upright on the branches. The golden-yellow fall color of the tulip-tree makes this an choice for large landscapes. Read more about Tulip Tree.

Ginkgo (male)

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo is a very pest-resistant tree. It has interesting, fan-shaped leaves that turn vivid yellow in fall. Only male trees should be purchased as the females produce messy fruit that have a potent odor. Read more about Ginkgo.


Celtis occidentalis

The hackberry is a Chicago-area native and a sturdy, tolerant shade tree for streets and parkways, or parks and other large areas. Its fleshy, purple-brown berries ripen in late summer and persist through winter. Read more about Hackberry

Redmond Linden
Tilia euchlora

Also known as American basswood. Redmond linden is native to the Chicago area and is often used as a specimen or dense shade tree. Its heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers in June make it especially attractive for people, while songbirds and blue jays are attracted to its seeds and use the tree for shelter. Read more about Redmond Linden.

Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum

Sugar maple is a Midwest native loved for its exceptional fall color ranging from brilliant yellow to burnt-orange. In summer, its lustrous foliage provides excellent shade, making it a great choice for parks, golf courses, and home landscapes where its roots can spread. Black maple (Acer nigrum), once considered a separate species, is now included as a subspecies of sugar maple. Read more about Sugar Maple.

Kentucky Coffeetree
Gymnocladus dioious

The Kentucky coffeetree's tolerance to pollution and a wide range of soils makes it a suitable tree for urban environments. Native to the Midwest, this tree bears leathery, reddish-brown seed pods that add winter interest to the Midwestern landscape. Read more about Kentucky Coffee Tree.

Black Maple Acer nigrum The black maple, a native species in Illinois, is commonly planted in the greater Chicago region. As a subspecies of the sugar maple, the black maple displays similar characteristics: dense, rounded crown; dark, furrowed bark; and brilliant fall color. Read more about Black Maple.
Taxoduim distichum

This stately conifer, native to the Midwest, often is found in groupings in parks and larger spaces, along streets, and around lakes. Unlike most cone-bearing trees, bald-cypress loses its needles each winter and grows a new set in spring. Hardy and tough, this tree will adapt to a wide range of soil types, whether wet, dry, or even swampy. Read more about Bald Cypruss.

Yellow Buckeye Aesculus flava Buckeyes are known for their flower displays in May; yellow buckeyes are no exception. This Illinois native produces yellow flowers in upright clusters measuring up to 6 inches tall. In fall, the leaves display a yellow-orange color. It is susceptible to leaf blotch and may be difficult to find in nurseries. Read more about Yellow Buckeye.
Horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum Horse chestnut is a large tree known for showy flowers in May. The clusters of white flowers may be 6 inches tall or more. This non-native can be messy when its fruit drops and offers little in the way of fall color. Read more about Horse Chestnut.
Pecan Carya illinoinensis The pecan is one of the most important native nut trees in North America. It is a large, straight-trunked tree native to river bottoms and rich fertile soils. The nut, a beloved pie ingredient, ripens in the fall. Read more about Pecan.
Northern Catalpa Catalpa speciosa Catalpa is a Midwest native tree grows 40 to 60 feet tall, with a narrow, open, irregularly rounded crown and spreading branches. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and large clusters of fragrant, white flowers. The long, interesting seed pods persist through the winter. Northern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions, but has weak wood and branch structure. Read more about Northern Catalpa.
Sugarberry Celtis laevigata
Native to southern Illinois, sugarberry is closely related to a more northern species, the common hackberry. Sugarberry has fewer problems with leaf galls and witches broom, which are seen regularly on common hackberry. The bark is also smoother and less warty than that of common hackberry. Sugarberry has small flowers in spring. Read more about Sugarberry.
Yellowwood Cladrastis kentukea Yellowwood is a medium- to large-sized tree, 30 to 50 feet high, with smooth bark, large hanging clusters of fragrant white flowers, and clear yellow fall color. Choose a yellowwood tree for excellent shade in a small- to medium-sized landscape. Note that the branches of the yellowwood are highly susceptible to ice storm damage. Read more about Yellowwood.
Persimmon Diospyros viginiana Persimmon is a southeastern U.S. native tree that is easily recognized in winter by its unusual rugged, blocky bark. Female trees produce large orange-brown fleshy fruit that are edible after the first frost. Thick, dark green leaves turn a yellow fall color. Native persimmon is not readily available in nurseries, but several selected cultivars are produced for their edible fruit. Read more about Persimmon.
Cucumber Tree Magnolia Magnolia acuminata This large, deciduous magnolia tree is excellent for large properties such as parks, golf courses, and naturalized areas. Cucumbertree's wide-spreading branches are covered with dark green leaves that turn an attractive yellow-brown in the fall. Although its flowers are not as showy as those of other magnolia species, the cucumbertree yields interesting pinkish-red fruit pods. Read more about Cucumber Tree Magnolia.
Black Gum Nyssa sylvatica Tupelo, also known as sour gum or black gum, is a striking pyramidal tree in its youth with horizontal branches growing from a typically straight trunk. As the tree matures it takes on more of an irregular habit. The dark green glossy summer foliage takes center stage in fall when the leaves turn bright scarlet. This species is native to the Chicago region. Read more about Black Gum.
Black Cherry Prunus serotina
Black cherry is a large, native tree found in the Midwest and throughout the eastern United States. The showy white flowers appear as pendulous clusters in early spring followed by dark, pea-sized fruits in late summer. The mature bark is dark and scaly, often flipping on the edges. Read more about Black Cherry.
Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea True to its name, the scarlet oak produces wonderful scarlet fall color. This tree is best used in residential yards rather than as a street tree. This species is native to the Chicago region. Read more about Scarlet Oak.
Hill's Oak Quercus ellipsoidalis Hill's oak, a Chicago region native, is very similar in appearance to pin oak, but has the advantage of tolerating a higher soil pH. This means that the chlorosis (yellowing) that is common in pin oak is not a problem for Hill's oak. Hill's oak can be used in parkways and has excellent fall color. Read more about Hill's Oak.
Shingle Oak Quercus imbricaria Shingle oak is native to Illinois and to part of the Chicago region. This tree is not easily recognized as an oak due to an atypical, unlobed leaf. It is not used as commonly as other oak species, but would be valuable as a parkway tree. Read more about Shingle Oak.
Chinaquapin Oak Quercus muehlenbergii Chinkapin oak is native to the Midwest, where it is often found as a specimen planting or as a grouping of tree for parks and large areas. Chinkapin oaks are found on dry, limestone outcrops in the wild and perform well in alkaline soils. Its glossy, coarsely-toothed leaves are yellow-green and small compared to most oaks. Young trees retain a pyramidal to oval habit with a pale gray, scaly ridged central trunk. As trees age, the crown becomes more rounded. Read more about Chinaquapin Oak.
Shumard's Oak Quercus shumardii Shumard's oak is native to southern Illinois, but is hardy in the northern part of the state as well. This species can be utilized as a street tree, but may be difficult to find in nurseries. Read more about Shumard's Oak.
American Linden Tilia americana The American Sentry linden is reported to have some resistance to Japanese beetle. It is a dense shade tree with heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers; this cultivar is particularly symmetrical. This plant is a cultivar of a species that is native to the Chicago region. Read more about American Linden.

Contact Us

  1. Public Works

    Email the Department

    Public Works Facility
    1700 Central Park Avenue
    Flossmoor, IL 60422

    Hours of Operation

    Monday through Friday
    7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Phone: 708-957-4100
    Fax: 708-798-0299

    Staff Directory