City tree maintenance

A large tree next to the street.

The city monitors the safety and health of trees on public property and those along the road right-of-ways. While trees along the road are not owned by the city, the city shares the responsibility with homeowners to maintain the trees in the right-of-way with to ensure safety for traffic and pedestrians. The city has a small crew in the public works department to trim trees along the street within the right-of-way, and to remove hazard trees. They have received training in proper pruning and tree removal techniques.

Most pruning takes place between November and March, when the crew is available for tree work and disease transmission is not a concern. The first priority for tree work is to ensure safety along the right of way. This includes mitigating sightline concerns and removing hazard trees and branches. Next, crews prune in advance of roads slated for paving through the city’s thin overlay program, or prior to road reconstruction.

Tree concerns on the right-of-way (road edge)

Tree concerns on city-owned property

  • Report a storm-damaged or hazard tree on city property
  • Report a diseased tree on city property (June–September 1)

Tree concerns in city parks and along trails

Tree concerns on private property

Utility pruning along wires (Xcel Energy)

Utility pruning along wires is done by Xcel Energy, not by city crews. Xcel uses Wright Tree Service and Asplundh. See links below for more information.

Frequently asked questions about city tree maintenance

What is the right-of-way and am I responsible for trees in this area?
The right-of-way is the portion of your property that borders the road edge. Property owners technically own to the center of the road, but the city has a shared interest in this part of your property. The city uses it for snow storage, utilities, and trims trees in the right-of-way that hamper visibility and safety along the road. If a non-disease risk tree in the right-of-way threatens the safety of vehicles or pedestrians on the road, the city will remove the tree without cost to the underlying property owner. Property owners are free to trim and remove the trees within the right-of-way portion of their property at any time.
Does the city remove stumps along the road edge?
The city pays for half of the removal cost of select stumps in the right-of-way. Candidates for removal are located in a mowed and maintained area and are not on a slope or in a woodland. Request an inspection of a stump on your property via Minnetonka Mike (click on the Stump Removal category) or by calling 952.988.8400.
I live next to a city property and there is an unsafe tree or branch limb leaning toward my property—will the city remove it?
The city inspects and removes risk trees and branches on public property that affect safety for private property. Request an inspection via Minnetonka Mike (select the most applicable inspection request) or by calling Public Works at 952.988.8400.
Will the city inspect my non-elm/oak tree?
Beyond Dutch elm disease and oak wilt, there are hundreds of other tree diseases, insects, disorders, and environmental conditions that can lead to a tree’s decline. At this time, the city does not perform inspections of trees other than elms and oaks on private property. The city forester can provide over-the-phone guidance to residents with tree disorders/diseases other than Dutch elm disease and oak wilt as time permits.
Will the city inspect my ash tree for emerald ash borer?
Visit the city’s webpage on emerald ash borer for the most up-to-date information.