COVID-19 InformationInformation and Updates for Community Members

Contact Information

201 4th Street SE
Room 150
Rochester, Mn 55904 (Map)

Phone: 507-328-2515
Fax: 507-328-2511 
Email Forestry Service

Hours (Mon-Fri):
7:30am to 4:00pm
Summer 7:00am to 3:30pm 

Department Contacts


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Forestry Permits

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BOULEVARD PLANTING PERMIT boulevard tree permit icon

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 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.



  • Water you tree every week. Depending on size, some trees may require around 15 gallons of water each week. Be careful not to saturate the soil, simply keep it moist.
  • Mulch your tree each spring or fall. This helps to retain moisture and keep out weeds. Make sure that the mulch does not touch the trunk and that it is around 4 inches deep.
  • Remove stakes after about one growing season. If not removed at the appropriate time, girdling of the trunk can occur and prevent proper nutrient movement through the tree. Please notify the forestry department if your young tree needs its stakes removed.


  • Avoid causing damage to the tree via lawn mowers, trimmers, and bicycles.
  • Avoid using weed killers near newly planted tree and applying fertilizer for the first few years.

For more information, download the planting requirements and specs guide
For tips on planting, pruning, and tree care, download the US Forest Service's Tree Owner's Manual


BOULEVARD TREE WORK PERMITboulevard permit leaf icon

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.


NATURAL LANDSCAPE PERMITnatural landscape grass icon

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 12” 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 12” in height (download natural landscape permit). 



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.

Use these coupons below from our local tree care companies for great deals!

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