Trees, Shrubs & Grass


Keeping our urban forest healthy and safe is a priority. We’re proud to have earned the Tree City USA designation, and with the community’s help, we can help keep our trees and city beautiful for generations to come.

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Weed and grass regulations

Grass and weeds may not be taller than 8 inches on developed residential lots. They may not be taller than 12 inches elsewhere. There are exceptions for agricultural land. To be considered for an exception, contact Community Standards at 913.477.7500.

City Code prohibits excessive growth of vegetation and noxious weeds, regardless of land use.

Get help identifying common noxious weeds in Kansas. Check the Johnson County website for a detailed list with photographs.

Have a weed or grass concern in Lenexa? Report a problem online or contact Community Standards at 913.477.7500.

Full regulations about weeds and grass

Tree and shrub regulations

Property owners must maintain trees and shrubs on private property and in the public right of way next to your property. The right of way is typically 12–15 feet from the back of the curb.

Trees near sidewalks must be trimmed to maintain 8 feet of clearance above the sidewalk. Trees over streets and other right of way should have a 13-foot clearance.

If your neighbor’s tree extends onto your property, you can trim back the tree to your property line.

Trees and shrubs should not obstruct the view of traffic signals or the line of sight at intersections. They shouldn't otherwise create a public hazard.

Full regulations about trees and shrubs

Dead or dying trees

If you have a dead or dying tree on your property, it is your responsibility to remove it before it becomes hazardous. Contact insured contractors with certified arborists on staff to evaluate and work on trees. While you are not required to replant a tree after removing, we encourage you to do so.

If you are concerned about a dead, diseased or dying tree on private property that you do not own, contact Community Standards at 913.477.7500 or report a problem online.

The City has ordinances that provide enforcement tools to have these trees removed. Tree removal can be a financial burden. The City will work with affected property owners to the extent possible.

Street trees

Trees that are on your property and located in the public right of way are your responsibility as the homeowner. Typically, the right of way is approximately 11–15 feet from the back of the curb. The City has the right to trim or remove trees in the right of way, but general maintenance is the property owner's responsibility. 

You are not required to replace a street tree if you remove one from your property.

Street trees are under warranty by the City for one year from planting. Contact Curt Talken or Ryan Alderson with questions or for replacement.

Following the warranty period, maintenance responsibility belongs to the property owner.

Full regulations about street trees

We recommend the following trees for planting in the right of way, due to their strength, size and ability to thrive in our area:

  • Bald cypress
  • Black gum
  • Elm
  • Ginkgo tree
  • Kentucky coffee tree ("espresso")
  • London plant tree
  • All red oak varieties
  • All white oak varieties
  • Sugar maple
  • Tulip tree

Use the following resources to help you learn how to properly care for your trees:

City tree trimming

The City has the right to trim trees in the public right of way. But general maintenance is the property owner's responsibility.

Our certified arborists often do tree trimming along the public right of way work during the winter. This proactive approach ensures good clearance along roadways. It's not meant to provide full maintenance or removal of trees in the right of way. We may trim trees if they:

  • Are causing a sight, sign or sidewalk obstruction.
  • Have low-hanging or broken branches over the roadway or walkway causing safety concern.

Questions about City tree trimming? Contact Curt Talken, Landscape Supervisor, 913.477.7146,

Disposing of leaves

City ordinance does not require property owners to remove fallen leaves. But we encourage residents to be a good neighbor and do so. If your neighbor isn’t taking care of their leaves, it’s kind to ask them if they need help.

Leaves may not be swept, blown or raked into the street or near storm drains. It's illegal to dump yard waste (including grass), trash, chemicals or other substances in storm drains, creeks or similar areas. Grass and leaves in storm drains can become a breeding ground for rodents and insects. They can clog drains, causing localized flooding.

If you spot someone doing this, please call Municipal Services at 913.477.7880.

Emerald Ash Borer

Ash trees represent about 15 percent of Lenexa's urban forest, and we have found heavy infestations of the emerald ash borer throughout the city. Prior to the infestation, ash trees represented 25 percent of Lenexa's urban forest.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) — a beetle that is deadly to all types of ash trees — is spreading across the Midwest and Lenexa. Experts expect the beetle to kill 98 percent of the region’s ash trees over the coming years.

View a map of ash trees located in Lenexa

How does EAB affect the tree?

Emerald ash borer beetles kill the tree by starving it of nutrients and water. Once the female lays her eggs on the bark of an ash tree, they pupate and become larvae. The larvae tunnel under the bark and disrupt the tree's vascular system by chewing on soft tissue that transports water and nutrients throughout the tree. After a couple of years, the emerald ash borer population grows exponentially inside the tree, and the combined damage will eventually kill it.

Where is EAB currently found?

EAB was first discovered in the United States in 2002 and first detected in northern Lenexa in August of 2014. It has now been found in all areas of the city.

Identification and diagnosis

EAB only affects ash trees, which can be identified by their opposite branding, compound leaf and paddle-shaped seeds.

How to identify an ash tree

Identify an infestation

Adult beetles are dark metallic green, ½-inch long and 1/16-inch wide. Larvae are flat, legless, heavily fragmented, creamy white, and reach one inch in length when fully mature. Common signs of infestation include:

  • D-shaped exit holes through the bark about 1/8 inch wide.
  • S-shaped larval galleries just beneath the bark.
  • Thinning leaves or branches.
  • Vertical splits in the bark.
  • Unusual shoots sprouting from the main trunk or base of the tree. 
  • Damage from woodpeckers trying to get the borer at its larvae stage.
  • Secondary shoots sprout through bark of the trunk and limbs as the tree attempts to outgrow the damage.

What to do about your trees

Now is the time to assess your situation and determine the best course of action.

Identify any ash trees on your property; decide whether you plan to try and save your ash trees. If you decide to begin treatment, you must continue treating your trees for the duration of the tree’s life.

Decision guide for treating ash trees(PDF, 764KB)

Tree benefit calculator

If you are concerned about a tree that may be affected by EAB, please submit a service request.

Street tree replacement program

Our street tree replacement program uses excess funding from the Street Tree Fund to help partially reimburse you for the cost of replacing ash street trees.

  • We will provide a 50% refund on the cost of replacing an ash street tree, up to $200 per property. Does not include removal costs. (Once street tree funds are exhausted, the refund will no longer be available).
  • The replacement tree must remain a street tree, and our staff must approve the location and type of tree being planted.
  • Before issuing you a refund, our staff will visit your property to verify the new street tree has been planted.
  • You must provide a valid receipt showing the cost of the replacement street tree.

Help stop the spread of EAB

  • Do not move firewood. The wood may carry emerald ash borer.
  • Maintain healthy trees with proper pruning and watering.
  • Do not plant any more ash trees.
  • Spread the word to your friends and neighbors.
  • Inspect your ash trees often looking for signs of emerald ash borer.


Contact information

Landscape Supervisor: Curt Talken,

Dig safely on your property

Remember, if you are planning to dig for any reason, call 811 to request free utility location at least 48 hours in advance. Do not begin digging until utility lines have been marked.

Utility companies will be notified and mark the utility locations with flags and/or paint. It’s crucial to maintain the location of flags and paint until work is complete. Displaced markings may lead to accidental damage of the utilities.

Dig Safe website