City of Marion & Monarch Research

Marion Native Tree Right-of-Way Enrichment Program

Spring 2024 ROW Orders NOW OPEN

Monarch Research (MR), in partnership with the City of Marion, is excited to announce the Marion Native Tree Right-of-Way (ROW) Enrichment Program for area residents. The primary goal of the city-wide initiative is to provide residents and landowners subject to ROW easements, with native Iowa trees to replace trees lost during the 2020 derecho, and to establish new growth in areas that were previously vacant.

Below are program details that outline how you can join the effort to help us replenish the tree canopy in Marion.




The program is open to Marion residents and landowners/businesses who have suitable space for tree plantings in the Right-of-Way (ROW) easement adjacent to their property.

ROW definition: What is the Right-of-Way? The public right-of-way (ROW) is land that is owned by the City but maintained by the property owner, with the exception of trees.  In Iowa the maintenance responsibility of ROW trees is that of the municipality. It includes City streets and alleys and the grassy portion of land between the curb and private property line, often the back of the sidewalk.


  • The program is limited to Marion residents and landowners/businesses who register online through the custom link provided by email communications and website links.
  • Each resident may select a tree species preference up to three selections.  If more than one planting site is available per registration, one of the trees must be an Oak.
  • Once a resident or landowner/business has registered, Marion Urban Forestry personnel will complete a drive-by survey to determine if the planting site(s) and species selection(s) are feasible.  Any changes from the original registration will be communicated to the participant by email before distribution.
  • Participants are encouraged to share the program with neighbors, friends and family within the Marion Community.

NOTE: Recipients are responsible for the planting, watering and care of trees.

Download Planting and Care Tips.


  • It’s important that participants review the program requirements and evaluate available space for plantings. This will save time and follow up later.
  • The right-of-way planting strip shall be no less than 4 feet deep between the curb and sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk exists, you may call the City Arborist at the Marion Parks Department to verify the available spacing at your home.
  • Suitable spacing for a tree in the right-of-way should be approximately 40 feet wide or 20 feet on either side of the location where the hole will be dug.
  • All locations where the root ball shall be planted must be a minimum of 10 feet from driveway approaches, fire hydrants, storm water inlet boxes, and streetlight and utility poles.
  • ALL planting sites must be 30 feet from any traffic intersection and meet the above standards.
  • Any overhead utilities such as electricity and communication lines will require a small crown species selection to mitigate future conflicts.  City staff will make species adjustments as necessary for this circumstance during the site surveys and notify the participants of any changes by email.


  • Residents and landowners will complete an online form for themselves.
  • ALL registration orders will be received during the online ordering window to be announced.
  • Participants should review the tree species list and select varieties that are suitable for their available right-of-way spacing above.
  • If assisting with a neighbor, friend or family member, a second registration must be placed with the address pertaining to the alternative location for planting.
  • Excess tree requests for addresses that do not have suitable spacing for multiple trees will be declined.
  • Monarch Research will donate all tree stock and tree protection supplies for this program.

 Check out the 2024 Tree Species Selections!

        Marion ROW Species Info Spring 2024


  • Successful registrations will receive an email from the City of Marion following the registration deadline on March 27th to provide notice and details of the scheduled tree pickup and supply distribution.  Please check your “JUNK” email folder if you do not see the correspondence in your regular inbox.
  • The date and time of distribution will be approximately mid-April at the Lowe Park Maintenance Facility off Irish Drive in Marion.
  • The trees and supplies will be inside a drive through building and distribution will be held no matter the weather conditions that day.
  • Once orders are complete and the registration surveys have been reviewed, specific details will be communicated to each order recipient such as final species approved and dates and times for pickup.
  • Per Iowa Code, residents are REQUIRED to contact Iowa One Call at 811 to locate underground utilities before digging and planting trees.
  • It is encouraged that participants arrive at distribution in a vehicle capable of hauling all trees and supplies included as part of their registration.
  • Planting protection supplies will be provided during tree distribution and include the following items for each tree:
    1. a 5’ tall pre-cut galvanized steel fence roll
    2. a steel stake for fence support with zip ties
    3. a plastic trunk protector
    4. hardwood chip mulch

Planting and Care Instructions are available online. Click Here to view and download.

Go back to home page.