Tree Planting and Maintenance

Tree Planting and Maintenance

The Public Works Department oversees the planting and care of over 7,000 trees along our streets, park areas, and other city-owned property. The goal is to maintain a diverse and resilient tree canopy while setting an example for those residents who own 80% of the urban forest growing on private property. This work is authorized under Ordinance 229, and annual work plans are based on the Urban Forestry Management Plan and public Tree Inventory completed in 2011.

Tree Planting

Residents who would like to plant a tree in the right-of-way must obtain a Tree Planting Permit Application (PDF) and choose a tree from the list of recommended trees (PDF) included with the permit. City Forestry staff will determine if the site meets all the criteria for a tree.

Proper Planting Resources

The Wisconsin DNR has extensive online resources to guide the entire process of New Tree Planting. IMPORTANT: Call Diggers Hotline before you dig to have underground utilities located at 1-800-242-8511. Here are two brief but helpful video clips on Watering New Trees and How to Mulch a New Tree.

Tree Maintenance

The Forestry crew performs most pruning and removals in the winter months. Mature street trees are pruned cyclically once every 5 to 8 years. Smaller trees are pruned more frequently to maintain a central leader. Trees are pruned to improve the structure, remove dead wood, clear buildings, and meet city ordinance's sidewalk and street sightline clearances. If you have questions about the city's services or a concern about a public tree, call the Public Works main number at 715-386-4767 ext. 113.

Proper Tree Pruning

The Wisconsin DNR's Proper Tree Pruning is a well-illustrated step-by-step guide to this vital practice's tools, technique, and timing. Pruning is one of the essential maintenance tasks you can perform on your tree, especially for the first 10 to 15 years after planting. 

Tree Owner's Manual

This US Forest Service booklet captures the latest research-based technical information about your trees, from selection and siting to maintenance and removal. Hard copies are available at City Hall or online here

Hiring a Tree Service

You can find arborists in the phone directory under Tree Services. When selecting a company, be sure to ask for qualifications such as:

  • Membership in Professional Organizations like WI or MN Arborist Society.
  • ISA Certification (International Society of Arboriculture.
  • Proof of Insurance.

Other advice:

  • Ask for references and speak to former clients.
  • Get more than one estimate.
  • Get it in writing.