Property Owner Tree Care


Limitation on plant growth and location: No owner, lessee or occupant, nor agent, servant, representative or employee of any such owner, lessee or occupant having control of any lot or land or any part thereof within the corporate limits of the city shall permit or maintain on any such lot or land, or on or along any sidewalk adjacent to the same, or along any street or alley adjacent to the said property, any growth of plantings which are located on or extend over any public sidewalk, street or alley as follows.

  1. Bushes, hedges and shrubs shall be planted and maintained to obtain a minimum clearance of 12 inches from any public sidewalk and 36 inches from any street or alley.
  2. Bushes, hedges and shrubs shall be maintained at a maximum height of 30 inches in the visibility triangle in accordance with Ord. 827.
  3. Trees shall be maintained to obtain a minimum clearance branch height of eight feet above any public sidewalk and 14 feet above any street or alley.


Upon service of notice of a violation of this section by the Director of Public Works, as hereinafter provided for, on the owner of the land, lessee or occupant or agent, servant, representative or employee of such owner, it shall be the responsibility of said owner to correct the violation within 30 days. If the violation is not corrected by the end of the 30-day period, the city shall perform the appropriate corrective action to only that portion of the planting in violation of this section. Any other pruning, trimming and the like shall be the responsibility of the owner.


The actual cost of pruning, trimming or removal, together with a $75 administrative fee and such other additional costs incurred in connection therewith, shall be certified by the Director of Public Works to the Council prior to October 1 in each year. The amount so charged against said premises, lots or parcels of land shall be a lien upon the property on which said hazardous plantings were located, and shall be added to, and become, and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lot or land, and the Council shall, by appropriate resolution, assess the costs above mentioned against said premises, and certify the same to the County Auditor. The same shall be collected and enforced in the same manner as the collection of real estate taxes.

Guide for Watering Newly Planted Boulevard Trees

Watering newly planted trees is very important in determining whether a new tree will live or die. Please use this guide when determining the amount of water and the intervals of watering for your newly planted trees. A sprinkler system will not give your new tree the proper water it needs for good root growth. Do not expect your normal watering practices for established trees to be adequate for newly planted trees. If the new tree is located in the lawn area, do not rely on lawn irrigation to provide enough water. Keep in mind that the root ball can dry out within a day or two in hot weather. 

Also, keep in mind that lawn irrigation can over water your trees, which will kill your tree. It is easier to add water than remove it. Special attention should be given to trees for at least three years until they become established and develop adequate root systems out into the surrounding soil. 

Simple Rules to Follow

  • Generally, young trees need watering during any week there is less than an inch of rain until a hard freeze occurs. Use a rain gauge to measure rainfall.
  • Young trees need at least 8 to 10 gallons of water a week.
  • It is easier to add water than remove it, so do not over water.
  • It is best to water slowly and deeply.
  • Water early in the day.

Learn more about Watering Newly Planted Trees and Shrubs and Watering Established Trees and Shrubs on the University of Minnesota Extension Website.

How to Wrap Trees for Winter

With the bitter cold of the winter season, many young or flimsy trees may be vulnerable to the low temperatures, icy winds, and falling snow. According to The Weather Channel, January is one of the coldest months of the year with Temperatures falling to an average low of 29 degrees.

Because these conditions can often cause serious damage to younger or smaller trees, experts suggest properly wrapping their trunks for winter to avoid exposure, in addition to preventing the invasion of small rodents and other animals. Before winter reaches its lowest temperatures, follow these four steps and wrap your trees so they survive the winter weather:

  • When to wrap: Researchers at the University of Minnesota recommend wrapping your trees after the first hard freeze of the year, which usually occurs from late October to the end of November. Homeowners should wrap trunks to prevent "sun scald," which is a term used to describe the splitting of the bark due to due exposure to higher temperatures immediately followed by freezing temperatures during the winter.
  • What to wrap with: To wrap your tree, you will want to collect commercial tree wrap made from corrugated paper or an alternative composition material. Avoid using materials like burlap or black plastic, since these materials aren’t as effective. Since most commercial wrap is two-sided, you should choose to have the white side facing outward to reflect excess heat from the tree. Start wrapping at the bottom of the trunk and aim for as close to the ground as possible.
  • How to wrap: Make sure to overlap your wrapping material as you make your way up the trunk. You should wrap until you hit the first structural branch at the top of the trunk. It would also be beneficial to wrap around small branches on the tree to protect these more vulnerable portions from exposure. Once you have completely finished wrapping, secure the ends of the wrap with tape, and avoid using abrasive securing materials such as garden twist ties, wire or rope.
  • Removal tips: Remove the tree wrap as soon as the ground warms up.

Learn more about Protecting Trees and Shrubs in Winter on the University of Minnesota Extension Website.