Trees on Private Property

The City of Wheaton does not regulate trees that are on private property unless they are actively infested with Dutch Elm Disease or the Emerald Ash Borer.

Who Owns the Tree?

Under Illinois law, ownership is determined by the location of the tree trunk.

Overhanging Branches & Roots

The law allows residents to cut, trim or prune overhanging branches and roots that spread onto your property from your neighbor’s property. However, you may not trespass on your neighbor’s property, and the City recommends you consult an arborist before performing any work to ensure you’re not damaging the tree.

Hazardous Trees

The City recommends communicating with a neighbor if there is a concern about a nearby tree on private property that might be a hazard. If a neighbor refuses to cooperate, a homeowner has the option of hiring legal counsel to assist in gaining compliance or obtaining a court order.

The City of Wheaton recommends that residents seeking remedies for a hazardous tree on private property retain a personal lawyer, and in some cases, an arborist, to provide detailed options and advice related to resolving the issue.

Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease

It is the homeowner's responsibility to promptly remove and dispose of Ash trees infested with the Emerald Ash Borer and Elm trees infected with the fungus known as Dutch Elm Disease. Not removing diseased / infested trees violates Wheaton City Code and can result in fines.

The City recommends you contact a certified arborist regarding tree removal.


To report suspected cases of Dutch Elm disease or Emerald Ash Borer, contact the Forestry Division at 1-630-260-2122.