City of
Madison

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. Replacement seasons take place in the spring and fall and due to this, the process can take three planting seasons, or up to 18 months.
  • 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 the tree species that will be planted in the terrace?

No. With over 3,000 trees planted annually, staff is not able to honor specific requests. Our goal is to plant a diversified and vibrant urban forest.  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, via email or call 608-266-4008.

Why is there a yellow dot on the terrace tree?

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

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.

Am I allowed to tap into a maple tree (or another tree type) on a City-owned street or in a park?

No. Do not do this. Drilling into a tree not only is harmful but can spread disease. Per Madison General Ordinance 23.24 (Breaking, Damaging or Injuring Trees, Shrubs) tapping for sap in a maple or other type of tree is not allowed.

Emerald Ash Borer FAQs

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 the terrace tree in front of my home 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 terrace tree in front of my home?

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

Why is there a yellow dot on the terrace tree?

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

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 to replace the removed ash tree on the terrace?

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

Can I plant my own replacement tree on the terrace?

Per City Ordinance 10.10, the City Forester has authority over trees and their planting on city property. The goal of Forestry is to create a healthy, diversified, resilient, and vibrant urban forest. Tree species are carefully selected to achieve this goal. It is understandable that homeowners may have certain cosmetic or maintenance-driven preferences with regards to trees, and they may wish to plant a tree of their choosing in the city's terrace to achieve their goals. However, each city tree is part of the larger urban forest. And to have a healthy urban forest the well-trained City Forester must select the right tree for the right place so the whole system can thrive.

Will the City remove the stump of the terrace?

Yes. Stumps created by Forestry tree removals will be grubbed out. However, the process is quite slow in order for the task to be completed safely. Stumps may remain in the terrace for several weeks until all the necessary work, including careful underground utility marking, can be performed. .

May I keep the terrace tree wood?

No. Due to invasive pests like EAB and diseases like Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm Disease, all wood from terrace trees is taken to the City of Madison Reduction Site and chipped into 1" x 1" wood chips. This prevents further spread of EAB. The wood chips are available to the public for use in their yards as mulch. For more information, visit the Brush Processing website.