Frequently Asked Questions

Does the city notify residents if and when a tree will be planted?

  • For new developments and plats, you will not receive any notification from the city. Your developer is responsible for disclosing this to you.
  • For replacement trees, you will receive a door tag indicating the season in which your tree is scheduled to be replaced.
  • Once a tree has been planted, you will receive a door tag with the type of tree planted and how to care for it.

Why did I receive an assessment for a new street tree? Shouldn't the city be responsible for that?

Trees are considered part of the city's green infrastructure and are just as important as other types of infrastructure such as street lights, fire hydrants, and sidewalks. Trees, however, are one of the few types of infrastructure investments that increase in value over time.

Can I choose a tree?

No. With over 3,000 trees planted annually, our limited staff is not able to honor specific requests for trees. Our goal is to plant a diversified and vibrant urban forest and we consider several factors such as existing trees, utilities, nursery availability, and planting location when selecting which tree to plant.

What does this assessment cover?

The purchase price of the tree plus all labor, fuel, supplies, and administrative/planning costs associated with planting. This one-time fee is a lifetime guarantee as well. Any future replacements (including removal, stump grubbing, and replanting) are covered and will not be assessed a second time.

Who do I contact regarding the payment schedule or how to pay my assessment?

Please contact the Finance Department, email Wendy Murkve or 608-266-4008.

Why is there a yellow dot on my tree?

The yellow removal dot has been protocol in City of Madison Forestry for over 30 years. The mark signifies the street tree needs to be removed, whether it's an ash, maple, oak or any other tree species. The yellow dot mark is not specific to just EAB removals.

Will the City remove my private tree for free?

No, City of Madison Forestry can only prune or remove city-owned trees. We recommend you contact a private certified arborist at your own expense. We suggest you get a least 3 different bids, as prices vary. For more information on finding a certified arborist, visit Wisconsin Arborist Association.

What are my treatment options?

The City Forestry Section will determine if the city-owned terrace ash tree will be treated or removed. If you have an ash tree on your private property, we suggest consulting a certified arborist. For more information on finding a certified arborist, visit Wisconsin Arborist Association.

Which product will be used to treat the city-owned terrace tree?

The City of Madison has selected Emamectin benzoate to be used in the treatment of city-owned ash trees. Emamectin benzoate is injected into a tree's vascular system. It is not sprayed on the bark or leaves. Animals (e.g. birds, chipmunks) and other insects (e.g. butterflies) that simply land on a treated tree but do not feed on the tree will not be affected by the insecticide.

What if I don't want my terrace tree treated?

The City Forestry Section will remove the city-owned terrace ash tree if the property owner doesn't want the tree treated.

Can I treat my own terrace tree?

No, only city staff can treat city-owned terrace trees. Residents will not be allowed to treat or hire a contractor to treat city-owned terrace trees.

Why is there a yellow dot on my tree?

The yellow removal dot has been protocol in City of Madison Forestry for over 30 years. The mark signifies the street tree needs to be removed, whether it's an ash, maple, oak or any other tree species. The yellow dot mark is not specific to just EAB removals.

Why is there an orange dot on trees in parks?

An orange dot is placed on ash tree that will be removed within a park.

Am I responsible for removing my private tree with EAB?

Yes, the property owner is responsible for trees on their private property.

Can I choose the tree species for replacement?

No, per Madison General Ordinance 10.10, the City Forestry Section determines all tree species and planting locations. Our goal is to increase species diversity and put the right tree in the right place.

Can I plant my own replacement tree?

No, a planting permit is required for property owners to plant a tree on the city-owned terrace. The Forestry Section still determines the tree species and planting sites. Due to limited staff and volume of replacements, no permits will be issued during the initial EAB infestation years.

  • Contact Us
  • Email
  • By phone: (608) 266-4816
    (Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-3:00 pm)
  • For after-hours emergencies, please contact the Madison Police Department at (608) 255-2345

Forestry

Urban Forestry Special Charge