Tree Advisory Board

The Tree Advisory Board builds community support for the City's tree programs and educates residents on issues related to the City's trees and urban forests. The resources on this page are designed to help residents learn more and get involved.

Latest Updates

Sustainable Lawn Care

Interested in greening up your lawn care program? Check out these sustainable lawn care best practices from the City's Sustainability Committee.

Report Spotted Lanterfly Sightings

The Spotted Lantern Fly is an invasive insect that is now unfortunately present in our area. This pest has the potential to destroy considerable portions of our tree canopy. We need the public’s help in identifying and destroying this insect. Late summer through November is the best time to spot the Spotted Lantern Fly because it is in its most recognizable stages as a colorful winged adult plant hopper. After hatching in the late spring, the SLF goes through four nymph stages. By midsummer, the nymph Spotted Lantern Fly can be identified by its red body, roughly a half-inch in size, with black stripes and white dots. During the late summer until roughly November, the SLF is in the adult stage. These adults are larger, roughly one inch in size, with black bodies and brightly colored wings:


Adult Spotted Lantern Fly are attracted to the invasive Ailanthus tree, also known as tree-of-heaven, while nymphs feed on a wide range of hosts. It is important to remove any tree-of-heaven on your property, and monitor mature trees of any type for signs of Spotted Lantern Fly.

Adults lay eggs September through December, while egg masses have been spotted from September to June. Egg masses hold about 30 to 50 eggs and are approximately one inch in size. Females can lay up to two egg masses, typically on flat surfaces including tree bark, rocks, lawn furniture, or anything left outdoors. Although the adults don’t survive through the winter, the eggs can. If you encounter the spotted lantern fly, you’re encouraged to squish it. You should also report any spotted lantern flies or egg masses and you can scrape them off using a plastic card or putty knife. Scrape them into a bag or container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and keep them in this solution permanently.

Tree of HeavenTree of HeavenSpotted Lanterfly egg sacSpotted Lanternfly egg sac

How to Report a Spotted Lanternfly Sighting

You can report a suspected infestation by trying to collect a sample or take a quality photo, and then PLEASE REPORT it: Call or email Plant Pest Control Section of the Ohio Department of Agriculture: (614) 728-6400 or; or report via mobile app:  EDDMapS Great Lakes Early Detection Network, and please let Charles Orlowski, our city forester know as well.

Trees & Plant Species to Avoid Planting

The Tree Advisory Board, in the spirit of sustainability and in order to remediate damage done by traditional landscaping practices, has compiled a list of tree/shrub/plant species that we recommend NOT planting. The hope is that this list, along with the expertise of the TAB and its partners, can educate the community about ecologically sustainable practices and plantings that are habitat-friendly choices. 

In a world where we are seeing the loss of numerous species that were once abundant, and keystone species of flora and fauna are becoming endangered, it is important for each of us to understand our part in using our own spaces to create habitat where native ecosystems can exist. 

The list is compiled using species on current prohibited lists of municipalities, watch/prohibited lists of parklands, and data-based information on species demonstrated, or potentially able to naturalize and/or spread from plantings. This list is not exhaustive, and most likely may omit a number of species that are problematic. For more information, please contact the Tree Advisory Board. Download a PDF version of the list.

Primary Tree Species to Avoid Planting

Acer campestre – Hedge Maple*

Acer buergerianum  – Trident Maple*

Acer negundo – Box elder*

Acer ginnala – Amur Maple*

Acer platanoides – Norway maple (all forms, including King Crimson)*

Acer pseudoplatanus – Planetree/Sycamore Maple*

Acer tataricum – Tartarian Maple*

Aesculus hippocastanum - Horsechestnut

Ailanthus altissima – Tree of Heaven

Albizia julibrissin – Mimosa/Silk Tree

Alnus glutinosa – European Black Alder

Broussonetia papyrifera – Paper Mulberry

Chionanthus retusus - Chinese fringetree

Elaeagnus angustifolia – Russian Olive

Elaeagnus umbellate – Autumn Olive

Eucommia ulmoides - Hardy Rubber Tree

Koelreuteria paniculate – Golden Rain Tree

Morus alba – White Mulberry

Paulownia tomentosa – Empress Tree

Phellodendron amurense – Amur Corktree

Phellodendron japonica – Japanese Corktree

Populus alba – White Poplar

Pyrus calleryana – Callery Pear (including Bradford)

Quercus acutissima – Sawtooth Oak*

Quercus dentata – Korean Oak*

Quercus Robur – English Oak*

Rhamnus cathartica – Common Buckthorn

Rhamnus frangula – Glossy Buckthorn

Salix alba – White Willow

Salix fragilis – Crack Willow

Styphnolobium japonicum – Pagoda Tree

Styrax japonicus – Japanese Snowbell

Syringa reticulata – Japanese Tree Lilac (Ivory Silk)

Tetradium daniellii – Korean Evodia

Ulmus parvifolia – Chinese Elm

Ulmus pumila – Siberian Elm

Zelkova serrata - Japanese zelkova


*The planting of non-native maples and oaks should be avoided in general due to their capacity to abundantly reproduce and escape; there are numerous native maple and oak alternatives

Primary Shrub Species to Avoid Planting

Berberis thunbergia  - Japanese Barberry

Berberis vulgaris - European Barberry

Buddleja davidii – Butterfly Bush

Cotoneaster multiflorus - Many-flowered cotoneaster

Cotoneaster acutifolia – Peking cotoneaster

Euonymus alatus – Burning bush

Euonymus europeaus - European spindletree

Lespedeza bicolor - Shrub lespedeza

Ligustrum obtusifolium - Border privet/Common privet

L. vulgare

L. amurense

L. japonicum

L. ovalifolium

L. sinense

Lonicera x bella - Bell's honeysuckle

Lonicera maackii - Amur honeysuckle

Lonicera morrowii - Morrow's honeysuckle

Lonicera tatarica - Tartarian honeysuckle

*include any non-native Lonicera shrub

Phyllostachys, Pleioblastus, Pseudosasa, and

Bambusa - Bamboo

Rhodotypos scandens - Jetbead

Rosa multiflora - Multiflora rose

Rubus phoenicolasius - Wineberry

Spiraea japonica - Japanese meadowsweet

Viburnum lantana – Wayfaring-Tree

Viburnum opulus – European cranberry bush viburnum



Please avoid these bamboo species as well: 

Bambusa vulgaris – Common Bamboo

Phyllostachys aurea – Golden Bamboo

Phyllostachys aureosulcata – Yellow Grove Bamboo

Phyllostachys bissetii – Bissetii

Phyllostachys rubromarginata – Red Margin Bamboo

Pseudosasa japonica – Arrow Bamboo

In addition to species in the genera: Sasa and Pleioblastus


If a bamboo is insisted upon, giant reed (Arundinaria gigantea) is a good native alternative to consider


The Tree Advisory Board (TAB) meets quarterly each year. Please check the public meetings calendar for dates. For information about the next meeting, email Forestry Superintendent Charles Orlowski, or call at 219-491-3285.

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval. View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes for the Tree Advisory Board.

Tree News

Published quarterly, this email newsletter provides an update on TAB's activities and ideas and resources for residents seeking to provide the best care for their property's trees. View recent issues of Tree News | Subscribe to Tree News

TAB Members

The TAB is composed of the Director of Public Works or his/her designee; one member of City Council; and three or more citizen members, who shall be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council.


Citizen members of the Tree Advisory Board shall serve two-year, calendar year terms. Appointments to fill vacancies or to add members shall be made by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council. The terms of citizen members shall end on December 31 of the year following the year that their term began. Click here if you are interested in volunteering to serve on TAB.

Codified Ordinances

Chapter 161 of the Codified Ordinances for the City of Shaker Heights defines the TAB and its membership and terms. See Sections 161.01; 161.02; 161.03; Cross References- Trees and Shrubs - see GEN. OFF. Ch. 747

Events & Activities

Arbor Day

A tree planting ceremony takes place each year in a public space of Shaker Heights. Students from each of the public schools in Shaker Heights, on a rotating basis, join Board members, the City Forester, the Mayor, and others to celebrate Arbor Day (PDF) at this event. Commemorative plaques mark each tree. In addition, the Tree Advisory Board and the Shaker Heights Public Library sponsor an annual Arbor Day-themed contest for students throughout April.

Heritage Tree Award

Residents are invited to nominate trees to be honored with a Heritage Tree Award.

Nominated trees are:

  • associated with a famous person, a significant event, or an historic landmark, or
  • unusual in size, form, age, or other quality, or
  • associated with an interesting history connected to a family, its home, or a business.

View recent winners: 

Memorial Tree Planting Program

Individuals who wish to plant trees on public lands to honor the memory of a loved one or notable neighbor can now  "grow” this memory. The first step in the process is to complete the online application.

Tree City Awards

The City has been designated as a “Tree City” from the National Arbor Day Foundation for the last 38 years and has also earned the Foundation's Growth Award for the last 12 years. To qualify for Tree City USA, the City must meet certain criteria established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. The Growth Award requires cities to go above and beyond these criteria.