Madison Parks Forestry


The Forestry section of Madison Parks provides tree planting, pruning, and maintenance for over 96,000 trees along more than 700 miles of city streets. In addition, forestry is responsible for hundreds of thousands of trees located in Madison's parks, golf courses, and cemeteries. Forestry staff takes great pride in our rigid safety standards; whether planting a new tree or cleaning up after a major storm, we are dedicated to the safety of workers, residents, and property.

Private Tree Concerns

Private trees are those not located within public parks, golf courses, cemeteries, or the city right-of-way. If your neighborhood has sidewalks, the right-of-way (also known as the terrace) is typically the area between the sidewalk and the street. If you do not have a sidewalk, the right-of-way is the space between the street and your property line. Damage to private trees is the property owner's responsibility. We recommend residents contact certified arborists for private tree needs. For more information on finding a certified arborist near you, please visit the Wisconsin Arborist Association.

If you have a concern about a private tree that is not on your property, please contact the City of Madison Building Inspection.

Replanting City-Owned Street Trees

The City of Madison uses the "Right Tree in the Right Place" best management practices supported by the International Society of Arboriculture and the Arbor Day Foundation when determining which kind of tree to plant. This criterion promotes urban forest diversity and is applied equitably throughout the city. Most trees will be replaced within three planting cycles. Forestry plants twice a year, in the spring and fall. Per Madison General Ordinance 10.10, the Forestry section determines tree type, species, and planting location. Unfortunately, residents are not permitted to request specific trees. For more information, please see our FAQs.

Door Tags

When responding to a tree concern, forestry staff will leave a door tag with information regarding inspection results and any next steps.