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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 6      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]       [all actions]

Build community capacity to protect existing trees/plant resilient species by certifying at least one or more local staff/volunteers.

  • Details on becoming a MN Certified Tree Inspector from the MN Dept. of Natural Resources; recertification happens at the annual March Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course.
  • Emerald ash borer resources from the MN Extension, including details on certified Forest Pest First Detectors. A "10-20-30" tree-diversity rule-of-thumb for reducing the risk of catastrophic tree loss due to pests is to have in the city tree canopy no more than 10% of one species, 20% of one genus, and 30% of one family.
  • Regional Resource Directories to assist MN cities in taking action to protect and enhance their urban trees.
For smaller cities: at least one volunteer is a Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector or a Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector.
At least one city staff member is a Certified Forester, a landscape horticulture professional, or holds Tree Inspector and First Detector certification; city staff provide free assistance to residents/businesses.
City has written and begun implementing a community emerald ash borer preparedness plan/climate change adaptation plan for urban forests; city tree canopy follows "10-20-30" rule-of-thumb.


Date completed/entered:   03/18/2013

Implementation details:
The City of Bemidji has four Parks and Recreation staff members that are certified Tree Inspectors. The Parks Department is also currently working on an emerald ash bore preparedness plan, with the help of Gary Johnson from the Dept. of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota. They conducted a volunteer-driven tree inventory this summer and are currently waiting for the analysis.

For more information contact:
Sara Dennison (Community volunteer)   |   sdennison@bemidjistate.edu   |   218-755-3765

Department of Forest Resources at University of Minnesota

View All Bemidji Actions


Date completed/entered:   06/25/2012

Implementation details:
Four city staff members are certified Tree Inspectors. Burnsville has an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan.

            view file

For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff)   |   basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Burnsville Actions

Coon Rapids

Date completed/entered:   10/25/2014

Date updated:   10/25/2014

Implementation details:
The City Forester works to maintain city programs and also serve as a resource to residents. Coon Rapids also has three park staff member that are First Detector Certified through the Department of Forest Resources. Their knowledge is specific to invasive species that effect Minnesota’s trees specifically urban forests. Additionally six park staff members are certified tree inspectors. They provide a free service to residents who request three inspections related to possible tree disease, insect problems, proper planting and pruning techniques. These staff members help to educate the community about relevant tree concerns and recommendations for resilient species.

For more information contact:
Tommy Schibilla (City staff)   |   tschibilla@coonrapidsmn.gov   |   763-767-6455

View All Coon Rapids Actions


Date completed/entered:   05/24/2014

Date updated:   06/04/2014

Implementation details:
City of Duluth has four certified arborists. The City Parks Department has written a community invasive species guide and plan that includes the emerald ash borer.

For more information contact:
Judy Gibbs (City staff)   |   jgibbsr@Duluthmn.gov   |   218-730-4308

View All Duluth Actions


Date completed/entered:   03/22/2012

Date updated:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
The contracted city forester is a licensed arborist and a certified tree inspector. The city has 2 staff members who are certified tree inspectors. The City also passed a EAB management plan in 2011 and has started implementing the plan with boulevard trees.

            view file

For more information contact:
Ginny Gaynor (City staff)   |   virginia.gaynor@ci.maplewood.mn.us   |   651-249-2416

View All Maplewood Actions


Date completed/entered:   01/31/2014

Implementation details:
In addition to the Minnetonka’s City Forester being a licensed arborist and certified tree inspector; the city employs two additional certified tree inspectors. For several years, Minnetonka has participated in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s voluntary early detection program of the emerald ash borer. To date the emerald ash borer has not been detected within the city, the city has a comprehensive emerald ash borer protection plan that is currently being implemented. The plan includes sections pertaining to the prioritization of ash tree removals on public property, budget impacts, replanting and wood waste considerations. The draft plan was presented to the city council in 2013.

Descriptive links: http://www.eminnetonka.com/public_works/natural_resources/community_forestry/emerald_ash_borer/Minnetonka_preparations/Minnetonka_prepares_emerald_ash_borer.cfm

For more information contact:
Ashley Cauley (City staff)   |   acauley@eminnetonka.com   |   952-939-8298

View All Minnetonka Actions


Date completed/entered:   07/31/2012

Implementation details:
The City of Oakdale employs a full-time City Forester, who is a certified arborist and tree inspector. The city's Urban Forestry Management Plan addresses emerald ash borer, as well as buckthorn removal and tree planting expectations.

            view file

For more information contact:
Jen Hassebroek (City staff)   |   jen.hassebroek@ci.oakdale.mn.us   |   651-730-2723

View All Oakdale Actions


Date completed/entered:   01/13/2015

Date updated:   02/11/2015

Implementation details:
The city has an employee who is a Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector. The city also has an Emerald Ash Borer Plan in place.

For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff)   |   Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com   |   651-792-7049

View All Roseville Actions


Date completed/entered:   04/26/2013

Implementation details:
The City has approximately 5 staff certified as MN Tree Inspectors, and several volunteers are First Detectors or retired foresters from the Minnesota DNR. The City Council adopted the Shoreview Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan in March of 2012 (attached).

            view file

For more information contact:
Mark Maloney (City staff)   |   mmaloney@shoreviewmn.gov   |   651-490-4651

View All Shoreview Actions

Brooklyn Center

Date completed/entered:   02/09/2015

Date updated:   03/03/2015

Implementation details:
The City of Brooklyn Center has a Certified Forester and an ISA Certified Arborist. The City also provides information in regards to tree questions to residents upon request.

For more information contact:
Andrew Hogg (City staff)   |   ahogg@ci.brooklyn-center.mn.us   |   763-569-3327

View All Brooklyn Center Actions

Columbia Heights

Date completed/entered:   12/19/2014

Date updated:   12/22/2014

Implementation details:
The Public Works Maintenance Superintendent is also a Certified Forester (see attached certificate). He inspects City owned trees as well as private hazardous and diseased trees and manages the City's diseased tree management program (see link).

Descriptive links: http://mn-columbiaheights.civicplus.com/index.aspx?NID=250             view file

For more information contact:
Jesse Davies (City staff)   |   Jesse.Davies@ci.columbia-heights.mn.us   |   763-706-3706

View All Columbia Heights Actions

Cottage Grove

Date completed/entered:   04/12/2013

Implementation details:
Cottage Groves staffs a licensed forester and recently hired a landscape horticulture professional.

View All Cottage Grove Actions


Date completed/entered:   06/01/2015

Date updated:   06/01/2015

Implementation details:
Three park staff members including the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department are certified tree inspectors. The city has a budget set to provide free trees in all residential area as well as replace damaged or dying trees.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The city has planted approximately 40 trees per year in residential areas alone.

For more information contact:
DeAndra O'Connell (Community volunteer)   |   oconn587@crk.umn.edu   |   218-281-8128

View All Crookston Actions

Eden Prairie

Date completed/entered:   04/06/2012

Implementation details:
The City has Forestry Division within the Parks and Recreation Department. The division is responsible for the following: "Identifying and removing trees with Dutch elm disease or oak wilt. "Sponsoring the Annual Arbor Day celebration. "Sponsoring annual Spring Park Cleanup. "Enforcing the City's tall grass/weed ordinance "Enforcing state/county noxious weed requirements. "Work with City Environmental Coordinator to monitor private native grass/flower plantings "Investigating, overseeing and resolving city/private boundary interface conflicts. "Forestry and natural resources related consultations. "Managing the City's conservation areas, which includes oak savanna, remnant prairie, remnant "Big Woods" forests and the riparian zones along creek and river watersheds. The City Parks and Recreation Department has on Staff, Jeff Cordes--Forestry Technician: He holds the following certifications: International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector. EAB First Detector trained.

Descriptive links: http://www.edenprairie.org/index.aspx?page=237

For more information contact:
Regina Rojas (City staff)   |   rrojas@edenprairie.org   |   952-949-8490

View All Eden Prairie Actions

Grand Rapids

Date completed/entered:   01/03/2013

Implementation details:
The City Of Grand Rapids currently have two certified tree inspectors on is also a member of International society of Arboriculture..Kelly Morris Mn. Dept. of Natural Resources Certified Tree inspector.#20064920 Kelly Morris International Society of Arboriculture #MN-4041A Jim Columbus Mn. Dept of Natural Resources Certified Tree Inspector #20073056

View All Grand Rapids Actions


Date completed/entered:   04/30/2014

Implementation details:
Mankato maintains two staff members which have MN Certified Tree Inspector status. One staff member (Natural Resources Specialist) is also an ISA-Certified Arborist. The Natural Resources Specialist has designed and written an Emerald Ash Borer Preparedness Plan, which is in the review process but not yet formally adopted. City staff monitors USDA Hardiness Zones to ensure Mankato has not been classified as a warmer climate zone. Once official records reflect Mankato as a warmer climate zone, the City will actively begin planting tree species which are only hardy to zone 5. The City also looks for new tree species on annual basis which can be tried and evaluated in the Mankato area.

For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff)   |   mwestman@mankatomn.gov   |   507-387-8571

View All Mankato Actions

New Hope

Date completed/entered:   04/01/2015

Date updated:   04/01/2015

Implementation details:
The city's tree replacement program only includes native species and the city provides residents with a list of recommended boulevard trees.

For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff)   |   jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us   |   763-531-5119

View All New Hope Actions


Date completed/entered:   06/25/2014

Date updated:   06/25/2014

Implementation details:
We have three certified tree inspectors on staff and they are supervised by lead tree inspector TJ Heinricy.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The City can more efficiently manage our urban forests by having trained inspectors on staff.

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's public works department has two staff members certified as well as a consultant forester and we work directly with a community organization thats primary goal is to protect the city's trees and to keep the city green.

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:   04/15/2014

Implementation details:
Our Tree Board in conjunction with the U of M completed a survey of all trees in Royalton and established a gravel bed nursery to provide trees for the community. Two of the board members are MN Certified Tree Inspectors and monitor emerald ash borer activity in the city.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The tree survey helped identify trees that were possibly infected with emerald ash borer, and

Descriptive links: http://www.royaltonmn.com/vertical/sites/%7BF29AE369-80CF-4CFB-BE87-851B6F04B18E%7D/uploads/March_April__2013.pdf

For more information contact:
Andrea Lauer (Elected official)   |   mayor@royaltonmn.com   |   320-630-2229

U of M Profess Gary Johnson Urban and Community Forestry

View All Royalton Actions

Saint Louis Park

Date completed/entered:   07/02/2012

Implementation details:
St. Louis Park employs an ISA Certified Arborist on staff.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Increased number of grants, trees ID'd with "issues", increase diversity of trees planted and heightened educational initiativess.

Descriptive links: http://www.isa-arbor.com/faca/findArborist.aspx             view file

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

International Society of Arboriculture; Minnesota Society of Arboriculture

View All Saint Louis Park Actions

Saint Paul

Date completed/entered:   11/19/2014

Date updated:   11/19/2014

Implementation details:
Saint Paul Foresty has employees who work on outreach to increase tree planting in neighborhoods, especially where canaopy has been deficient. Examples are efforts working with the community of Frog Town, "Tree Frogs" to increase tree planting on private property.

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

View All Saint Paul Actions

White Bear Lake

Date completed/entered:   05/15/2013

Implementation details:
Three city staff are MN Certified Tree Inspectors.

For more information contact:
Ellen Richter (City staff)   |   erichter@whitebearlake.org   |   651-429-8505

View All White Bear Lake Actions


Date completed/entered:   04/27/2013

Implementation details:
The city has a certified tree inspector on staff.

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

View All Woodbury 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