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GreenStep City Best Practices Environmental Management

Urban Forests
no. 16

Add city tree and plant cover that increases community health, wealth and quality of life.
  Best Practice Action 3      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]       [all actions]

Budget for and achieve urban canopy/tree planting goals.

A minimum number of trees planted by the city each year, OR at least 2-3 trees planted for each city tree lost.
An overall city tree canopy of at least 30% and/or a canopy above 60% for residential areas.
An overall city tree canopy of at least 40%, with goals for canopy over parking lots (such as 50%), canopy over residential (60% - 75%), canopy over commercial/industrial.


Date completed/entered:   05/27/2011

Implementation details:
Completed: We are currently at a tree canopy for 75% for residential areas and continuously budget for this.

View All Kasson Actions


Date completed/entered:   02/19/2013

Implementation details:
The City calculated its overall tree canopy using i-Tree. Per this tool, the City's overall tree canopy is 30%.

            view file

For more information contact:
Renee Eisenbeisz (City staff)   |   reisenbeisz@newportmn.com   |   651-459-5677

View All Newport Actions

Saint Anthony

Date completed/entered:   05/05/2011

Implementation details:
The City of St. Anthony has a tree budget and regularly adds or replaces boulevard and park trees. The City has at least 75% tree coverage for residential zoning.

For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff)   |   jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us   |   612-782-3314

View All Saint Anthony Actions

Cottage Grove

Date completed/entered:   04/12/2013

Implementation details:
In July 2012, Cottage Grove created a Public Landscape Initiative Program to motivate volunteers and employees within the City to contribute to beautification efforts. Projects are focused on active management of the urban forest, reforestation of highly visable community parks, public lands, and transportation corridors as well as provision of tree planting/landscaping , employee team building, and community volunteer opportunities. These tree planting and landscape goals are recorded and budgeted in our CIP through 2018. The city also recorded all of our boulevard trees in the community via GPS to help inventory, identify condition, size, species and other concerns with tree growth projections, disease monitoring, and tree trimming. This allows to provide a detailed management plan that aids in our budget preparation.

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Date completed/entered:   01/03/2015

Implementation details:
In the Forestry annual budget is a line item allocation for replacing boulevard trees. Boulevard trees are also replaced as part of the street reconstruction projects.

For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff)   |   Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov   |   763-531-1140

View All Crystal Actions


Date completed/entered:   10/23/2014

Implementation details:
Chapter 34, Article 3.6 goes into great detail about budgeting for and achieving urban tree canopy planting goals.

Descriptive links: https://www.municode.com/library/mn/northfield/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIINOCO_CH34LADECO_ART3DEST_3.6LASCBUST

For more information contact:
Jasper Kruggel (City staff)   |   jasper.kruggel@ci.northfield.mn.us   |   507-645-3027

View All Northfield Actions

Red Wing

Date completed/entered:   01/30/2013

Implementation details:
The city does a spring and fall planting every year and looks for spaces in newly developed areas to plant new trees. We also keep record of places that we have had to remove trees so that we make sure to replant in those areas. We received an Emerald Ash Borer grant and are working to reduce the number of Ash trees by replacing them with other varieties throughout the city.

For more information contact:
Jay McCleary (City staff)   |   Jay.McCleary@ci.red-wing.mn.us   |   651 385 3674

View All Red Wing Actions


Date completed/entered:   09/11/2013

Implementation details:
Rochester has continually assessed their tree canopy. Currently Rochesters tree canopy is at 27% with a total potential of 47%. The percent of water in the city is currently 2.7% while impervious land accounts for 22%

For more information contact:
Jacob Ryg (City staff)   |   jryg@rochestermn.gov   |   507-328-2515

View All Rochester Actions

Saint Louis Park

Date completed/entered:   07/02/2012

Implementation details:
$60000 annual CIP budget item for boulevard and Park tree planting

Outcome measures/metrics:
number of trees planted number of trees survive after 2 years diversity of trees planted throughout Ciyt

Descriptive links: http://www.stlouispark.org/public-works-programs-services/capital-improvement-program.html             view file

For more information contact:
Jim Vaughan (City staff)   |   jvaughan@stlouispark.org   |   952-924-2699

local tree nurseries; MN DNR

View All Saint Louis Park Actions


Date completed/entered:   02/14/2014

Implementation details:
Replace any trees lost in storms or construction with new trees.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Keep Warren trees healthly and continuely replaced as trees are taken out or lost to storm damage or old age.

Descriptive links: Keep tree being replaced in Warren

For more information contact:
Karl Frigaard (City staff)   |   info@warrenminnesota.com   |   218-745-5343

City Utility department and city park and recreation board

View All Warren Actions


Date completed/entered:   04/27/2013

Implementation details:
The city has a standing line item in the budget each year for tree planting and maintenance. In 2013, the city planned for and budgeted funds to plant 500 trees. In 2009, the City of Woodbury received a Community Conservation Assistance Grant through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Metro Greenways Program. The purpose of the grant was to conduct an Urban Tree Canopy assessment, in order to determine the current tree cover across the city. The Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) is the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. The most important finding of the UTC assessment was the percent tree canopy cover for the City of Woodbury. The city currently has a canopy cover of approximately 22%. The 70% of the city that is developed to its ultimate condition has a canopy of 23%. There is a significant range in the canopy among neighborhoods. Neighborhoods, depending on age and development practices at the time of development, have a canopy cover anywhere between 10% and 50%. Based on the results of the UTC, the city set goals for increasing UTC, developed an implementation plan for achieving the goals, and has established a monitoring program to track progress. Based on research identifying the benefits of trees in the urban landscape, Woodbury has adopted the goal of increasing the UTC in the city’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan. These benefits include improved water and air quality, reduced heating and cooling costs, and increased property values.

For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff)   |   jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us   |   651-714-3522

View All Woodbury Actions


Date completed/entered:   04/05/2011

Implementation details:
Eagan has a green space ordinance, which includes pervious/impervious requirements as well as tree mitigation policies, but no requirements pertaining to canopies per se. The City is likely close to meeting these percentage requirements, but nothing documented at this time. The Citys GIS staff is currently working with Dakota County to determine if any GIS technology would allow us to determine our tree canopy percentages.

For more information contact:
Greg Hove (City staff)   |   ghove@cityofeagan.com   |   651/675-5319

View All Eagan Actions

Saint Cloud

Date completed/entered:   05/27/2011

Implementation details:
The City is currently engaged in a tree canopy study to determine the species composition and percent of canopy. The canopy study is part of an ongoing Community Preparedness Project with the University of Minnesota

For more information contact:
Matt Glaesman (City staff)   |   Matt.Glaesman@ci.stcloud.mn.us   |   320-255-7218

View All Saint Cloud Actions

Saint Paul

Date completed/entered:   11/19/2014

Implementation details:
In 2010, the University of Minnesota Spatial Analysis Laboratory performed a land cover classification for the City of Saint Paul defining tree canopy, impervious surface, buildings, water, grass and bare soil. Highlights • Tree canopy cover in 2010: 32.5% of the total land area of Saint Paul • 66.2% of Saint Paul is suitable for tree canopy cover The Tree Canopy Study revealed that residential, single-family parcels offer the greatest area for increased canopy cover. As a result, The City has worked with partnering agencies and community volunteers when possible to increase planting on private property, especially is areas with the lowest canopy percentage, e.g., Frogtown. Overall, it is projected that Saint Paul will spend over $700,000 on tree planting in 2014 using various funding sources.

Descriptive links: http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=4581

For more information contact:
Anne Hunt (City staff)   |   anne.hunt@ci.stpaul.mn.us   |   651-266-8520

View All Saint Paul Actions

greenstep advisor
Ken Holman, Community Forestry Coordinator, MN Department of Natural Resources: 651/259-5269, ken.holman@dnr.state.mn.us, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/urban