On the GreenStep model ordinances page the Model Landscape Ordinance for a Municipal Zoning Code covers key best practices for private landscaping and construction projects. One design practice Eagan requires is that sites adding 10,000 sq. ft. or more of disturbed/graded/compacted soils must assure 5% organic matter remains, typically by adding compost so the soils allow water infiltration.
The Minnesota Stormwater Manual has design guidelines for tree quality and planting (tree trenches and tree boxes) as well as methods for assessing their ecologic performance. Note on this page, under design guidelines for soil characteristics (under bioretention soil mixes) that MnDOT compost specification 3890 (p. 715) is recommended.
Appropriately placed and maintained trees can help reduce damage to structures in storms by deflecting wind, and reduce damage to trees. Actions in the weeks and years following a strong storm can help bring damaged trees back to health. See Storm damage prevention and treatment best practices (University of Florida, 2020).
Having a storm response plan in place for your community must include the clearing of emergency routes, understanding of roles and how you as a community may work with FEMA, and where large amounts of woody debris may be stored short-term to clear needed roadways. The Forest Service has a number of resources and webinars here.
Adopt MN DNR Planting Guidelines; develop and adopt a young tree establishment plan incorporating regular watering and young tree structural pruning; require MN Stormwater Manual tree design guidelines for city projects; require ANSI Z60.1 for plant nursery or contractor purchased tree stock; report use of compost as a soil amendment or mulch made of an organic material to mitigate soil compaction.
Use guidelines in at least one city development project; use a gravel-bed tree nursery; assess the performance of tree trenches and tree boxes; adopt storm response plan and prevention best practices.
Incorporate adopted tree planting best practices, tree preservation, or heritage tree preservation in development ordinances; show with data that 'plant once' practices are decreasing the number of dying boulevard trees that must be replanted.
Who's doing it
Golden Valley - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2011
The Golden Valley Forestry Department follows industry tree and shrub planting best management practices and uses MnDOT specifications for all street reconstructions and projects such as the Highway 55 Lilac Project. Golden Valley also uses aerial photos and digital inventorying to determine where more cover or more diverse cover is needed in the City. Planting projects are monitored for success and practices are re-evaluated as needed
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Continued monitoring has generated the percent survival for the following projects:
A 2010-2012 planting project funded by a MN DNR Community Forest Bonding Grant (100 trees in 2011, 82 trees in 2012) showed an estimated 90% survival after two years.
A 2013 Met Council Environmental Services Reliever Project (47 trees) showed 89% survival.
A tree planting project in city parks in response to a 2011 tornado (funded by MCES grant and Trees for Tyrol group) (57 trees) had 86% survival.
A 2014 Tree Trust project in Brookview Park (35 trees) had 89% survival.
2014 and 2015 City Fall planting projects (14 and 50 trees respectively) each had 100% survival.
In 2022, the City passed Ordinance #334, titled Public Tree Care, Tree Diseases and Infestations. This ordinance describes best practices, prohibits harming public trees, and discusses steps needed for tree diseases within the community.
Section 7.37 of the zoning code requires a tree to be planted with each new home constructed.
Section 31-522 of city code lays out regulations to protect trees on slopes and requires a tree protection plan must be submitted for concept PUD or preliminary subdivision plan review, or be included with submission of a grading plan if not a part of a subdivision or PUD.
On public projects Bloomington’s engineering division uses MN DOT standards to develop specifications to ensure proper soil composition and plant installation. Guidelines for tree and shrub planting on private development projects are in Chapter 19 section 52 of the City Code. Bloomington City staff maintains a gravel bed nursery with a diverse mix of 15 tree species. This system allows staff to plant trees during optimal seasons and encourages extensive root growth that leads to successful establishment and long term survival. The diversity is intended to add resilience to the urban forest and reduce the impact of future invasive pests.
On page 153 of the zoning ordinances for the City of La Crescent, it outlines substantial best practices for tree planting, maintenance, and preservation. We also have a tree board which has been working on our Tree City USA recognition. Being the Apple Capital of MN we have a commitment to trees and preserving them for future generations.
Saint Paul uses a number of strategies to fund annual tree planting, including a regular annual CIB Citywide tree planting budget of over $300,000; an Emerald Ash Borer Management Program that replants a minumum 1:1 for every ash tree removed; replanting as a part of public works and other parks reconstruction projects; thousands of smaller seedlings/sapplings planted as part of park restoration projects; and annual outreach partnership planting projects--some on private property--using innovative gravel bed tree stock. Best planting practices are used in all cases, for example, from the use of tree growth tubes in planting sapplings for restoration projects, to the construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail Green Line where 1000 new trees were planted in an innovative tree trench using C.U. Structural Soil that doubles as storm water quality/infiltration green infrastructure.
The city of Saint Peter adopted a regulation through the council which identifies what trees and where they can be planted in the community. Trees are planted along boulevards in Saint Peter and are pruned, maintained and can be removed as may be necessary to ensure public safety, public access, or to enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.
The City of Fergus Falls has both a Dutch Elm and an Emerald Ash Borer program to monitor and remove effective and diseased trees. We annually plant 180 – 200 boulevard trees to replace affected areas.
The city of Hutchinson adopted policies that outlines what trees and where they can be planted in the community. Boulevard trees in Hutchinson are planted, pruned, maintained, and can be removed as necessary to ensure public safety or public access. The city follows industry tree and shrub planting best management practices and uses MNDOT specifications for all street reconstructions and projects. The city has also implementing tree diversification project in response to EAB.