The Parks Department's Forestry Division is responsible for the management of a comprehensive urban tree program including the reforestation of park and boulevard areas, and maintenance of more than 75,000+ boulevard and public property trees located on 3900+ acres. The division also manages and maintains the urban bikeway system, Peace Plaza and central business district, municipal landscape construction and enforces the tall grass and noxious weed ordinance.
I want to plant a boulevard tree…
All residents wishing to plant a tree on the boulevard in front of their property must have a boulevard planting permit issued by the Forestry Division of the Parks and Recreation Department. The permit is free (download planting permit). Once we receive the permit application, we will visit your property and put a white flag at each available planting space. Next you will be sent the planting permit with the recommended species for each planting space. Proper planting is essential for the long term survival of the tree (download 2017 Approved Boulevard Trees). Once the tree is in the ground it is considered public property. Please refer to Ordinance 9-4 for boulevard maintenance requirements.
I want to do work on a boulevard tree…
Boulevard trees are public property. It is illegal to perform any work to a boulevard tree without a permit. Only licensed tree companies will be issued permits to work on boulevard trees (download blvd tree work permit). Anyone wishing to have work performed on a public tree must apply for a permit and the permit must be approved before any work can occur.
I want to hire a tree care company…
The City of Rochester keeps an updated list of all licensed tree companies. All businesses performing tree work for hire must have a license to do work within Rochester city limits. The licensing process allows us to verify that each company has the appropriate insurance for your protection.
I want to obtain a natural landscape permit
The City of Rochester allows for trees and grass to be planted on the boulevard. Additionally a tall grass and weed ordinance is enforced. Ground covering vegetation is not allowed to exceed 10” in height by ordinance. A natural landscape permit must be obtained from the Forestry division by anyone wishing to have vegetation in their yard or on the boulevard that will exceed 10” in height (download natural landscape permit).
I want to volunteer
The forestry division provides opportunity for citizens to get involved with the urban forest. Citizen Forester training is held twice a year in the spring and fall (Citizen Forester brochure). Information is provided on benefits that trees provide and how to correctly plant a tree. Citizens who attend a Citizen Forester training are asked to get involved with community tree planting projects and help teach others correct tree planting procedures. Citizen Pruner is a volunteer program that teaches proper pruning techniques (http://www.mntreesource.com/rochester-mn.html). Volunteers are organized to help maintain city trees. Upon completion of the Citizen Pruner class residents can sign up for events and put their newly gained knowledge to work.
Wood Chips - load yourself pile *residential customers only*
Parks and Forestry is no longer accepting wood chip orders. There is one load yourself wood chip location available to residential customers at Zumbro South Park Garden Plots (1111 Mayowood Road SW). This location will be refilled as supplies are available.
To contact the Forestry Division please call us at 507-328-2515 or Send us a message.
To meet with Forestry Staff please call or send a message to schedule an appointment.