Street Tree Planting Permit

1. Overview

Thank you for your interest and dedication to improving Sioux Falls urban forest by planting a new street tree. The street tree planting permit is the process used to document new street trees which are planted in the parking strip (area between the curb and sidewalk). By tracking what trees are planted we are able to make informed management decisions based upon what is growing along our beautiful streets. By participating in this process you are directly contributing to the beauty, health and well-being of your community.

The street tree planting permit is a required process and went into city ordinance October 2018. This ordinance also requires the planting of approved trees by the Department of Parks & Recreation. By planting approved street trees we are able to avoid clearance issues over City streets and sidewalks. This also allows us to diversify our urban forest and prevent large infestations as seen with Dutch Elm Disease in the 70’s and with the Emerald Ash Borer in 2018. Refer to the Street Tree Guide for a list of approved street trees.

Submitting a permit application does not guarantee that a permit will be granted and work shall not proceed until the permit has been signed by an authorized staff member and returned to the applicant. Please note the parking strip regulations listed below along with instructions to apply for your street tree planting permit. Upon planting a new street tree, you must notify us when the planting is completed in order for us to close out the street tree planting permit.

2. Parking Strip Regulations:

  • Only trees approved by Parks & Recreation Forestry may be planted in the parking strip.
  • No tree shall be planted where the clear space between the curb and the sidewalk is less than 5 feet.
  • No tree shall be planted closer than 3 feet from the curb.
  • Trees must be 1 inch in diameter or larger measured 6 inches above the ground.
  • Trees shall not be planted under power lines unless approved.
  • Trees shall be planted at least 40 feet apart except where otherwise permitted.
  • Trees shall be placed at least 10 feet from a fire hydrant.
  • Trees shall be placed at least 10 feet from a driveway.
  • Trees shall be placed at least 15 feet from a streetlight.
  • Trees on a corner lot shall be planted at least 30 feet from the corner.
  • Trees shall be placed at least 20 feet from a stop/yield sign or traffic signal.

3. How to Submit a Planting Permit Application?

You have a few options for submitting a Planting Permit to the City of Sioux Falls.

Online Application with User Account

  • Applications can be submitted online through the City of Sioux Falls Customer Self Service (CSS) portal by using an existing account or by creating a new account.
    • Setting up a new account is free and easy.
    • You will need your address, an email account and to create a password. Once you have a CSS account, you can check the status of your planting permit at any time. If you submitted a paper or email application, and later decide you want to create a CSS account to check the status of your application, you can do that at any time through this process.
    • You will be able to manage your inspection requests online as well with this account.


  1. Create an Account with the City of Sioux Falls Customer Self Service (CSS) at If you have an existing account, log in to submit your application.
  2. Log into CSS select “Apply” then find the Street Tree Planting Permit, and select “Add”.
  3. Add the Location you intend to plant the tree by searching for the address, and selecting “Add”.
  4. Select the Permit Type you are applying for and briefly describe why you want to plant a new street tree.
  5. Add additional contacts to the permit or add a contractor if you intend on using one.
  6. Answer Required Questions by selecting the appropriate answer in the drop down menus.
  7. Add Approved Tree(s) by clicking the “pencil” on the right side of the red box and “save” when done.
  8. Attach Documents such as a landscape plan, if you are a contractor applying for a planting including more than 8 trees. Attachments are not required for homeowners applying to plant a street tree.
  9. Review and Submit your street tree planting permit application.

Online Application Without User Account

  • Submit the Tree Planting Permit Online without an account.
  • This will require you to call or email to follow up on the status of your application, if needed. You will also need to call or email to request a final inspection after you plant your tree.


Paper Application

  • In-Person: Paper applications can be submitted in-person to Parks & Recreation staff at 231 N Dakota Ave.
  • By Mail: Street Tree Planting Program, Parks & Recreation, P.O. Box 7402, Sioux Falls, SD 57117-7402

4. What Happens After You Submit your Application?

  • Once your application is received, we will inspect the planting site and determine whether a permit shall be issued.
  • Following the site visit, applicants will receive a letter regarding the status of their application. If approved, the signed planting permit will accompany this letter. If denied, the letter will explain why the application was not approved
    • Approved location(s) for the planting(s) will be marked with a white paint.
  • Work may begin once you have an approved permit issued by the City of Sioux Falls Department of Parks & Recreation Forestry and One Call 811 has located underground utilities.
  • Call Before You Dig: per South Dakota State Law, One Call (811) must locate all underground public utilities before planting any tree(s). The service is free, and required for planting trees on public or private property. For additional information visit
    • Phone: Make a free call to 811 (in-state) or (800) 781-7474 (outside of South Dakota).

5. How to Complete your Planting Permit

  1. To close out the street tree planting permit online.
    1. Log into CSS when you have completed planting the tree(s) and open your “Active” permits.
    2. Select which permit you wish to report as completed.
    3. Under the “Inspections” button, request a final inspection for that permit.
    4. Once a final inspection is requested, staff will inspect the planting. If the tree passes inspection, the street tree planting permit will be closed. If the tree fails inspection, staff will contact you with what needs to be corrected in order to close the street tree planting permit.
  2. If you submitted a paper or email application
    1. You can email us when you complete your planting at:
    2. You can call the Parks & Recreation Office at (605) 367-8222 to report completion