Individual property owners are responsible for private trees. We inspect and sometimes require removal of certain private trees to prevent the spread of disease and infestation to other trees. To maintain a safe public right of way, we occasionally prune private trees.
Diseased or infested trees on private property must be removed so the disease or infestation does not spread to other public and private trees. Minneapolis City Ordinance PB 10-23 allows us to inspect private trees to learn if they are diseased or infested.
Diseases that require removal include, but are not limited to:
As the property owner, you are responsible for removing the tree. You must discard wood from the tree following Minnesota Department of Agriculture guidelines.
Marking and Notification
If we find a diseased or infested tree on your property, we will mark it with paint and notify you that you must remove the tree within a specific timeframe.
If you do not remove your tree by the deadline, we will hire a private contractor to remove the tree. We will bill you for the removal cost plus an $80 administrative fee.
Green Paint Ring
Your tree has Emerald Ash Borer.
Orange Paint Ring
Your Tree has Dutch Elm Disease.
Ways to Remove Your Tree
You have three options for removing your tree.
You hire a contractor.
We recommend you hire a City of Minneapolis licensed contractor [PDF] to remove your tree. This is typically the least expensive option.
We hire a contractor.
You may choose to let us hire a contractor to remove your tree, but you still need to pay for the removal plus an $80 administrative fee.
You remove the tree.
You may remove your own tree, but must discard wood following Minnesota Department of Agriculture guidelines.
Sometimes we may need to prune private trees that hang over the public right of way. Before pruning, we will ask for your permission. We will prune from the public right-of-way and will not enter your private property. If pruning is necessary and you do not grant permission, we may need to send a notice to the Division of Regulatory Services for enforcement.
Reasons to Prune
- Remove limbs that may fall and hurt people
- Provide clearance for signs, signals or street lights
- Remove limbs that may fall and damage property
- Remove limbs that rub against buildings
Maintain traffic flow
- Provide clearance for signs, signals, street lights, and pedestrians
Water newly planted trees thoroughly once a week during dry periods in the spring, summer and fall.
Trees younger than five years old need one inch of rainfall each week to stay healthy. If there is not enough rain you should water your trees. Slowly pour at least four five-gallon buckets of water over the tree roots, or put a hose under the tree and let it run gently for one hour.
This video demonstrates the best ways to water your tree.
Putting mulch at the base of your trees
- Holds in moisture
- Reduces weeds
- Prevents damage from lawn mowing machines
Make sure your mulched area
- Is four to six inches deep
- Is made of coarsely shredded bark or wood chips. Finely shredded mulch can stop water and nutrients from getting to tree roots
- Stays a few inches away from the tree trunk to stop rodent damage and too much moisture at the base of the tree
- Gets wider as the tree grows
- Does not have any weeds. Remove weeds with your hands, not with chemicals.
Tree Care Links
Tree Identification [PDF]