Care of Trees Along City Streets

Edina has approximately 30,000 trees growing in the easement along City streets. Management of these trees is shared between property owners and City personnel. Property owners should be aware of City ordinances regulating vegetation growth along streets and how it must be controlled from encroaching public thoroughfares - streets, alleys and sidewalks.

City Ordinance

By ordinance, all streets must be clear of vegetation to a height of 16 feet. Sidewalks must be clear to a height of 8 feet. All vegetation must be trimmed and maintained to comply with this ordinance, whether the vegetation is growing from within or outside the boulevard area.

Residents must also maintain vegetation in a manner that reduces risk along public thoroughfares. Deadwood above these areas or other branches with potential for failure, large enough to pose a public safety threat, must be removed.


The City Forester routinely inspects these areas. Whenever conditions are observed that require remedial action, notices are sent to property owners outlining the necessary remedy, and allowing a certain time period for the property owner to comply. The City Forester is always available to residents for advice on proper tree management within these areas.

In situations where the City Forester observes hazardous conditions of vegetation along streets which are immediately threatening public safety, conditions will be corrected at the expense of the City.

Planting Trees in Boulevards

Boulevard trees may only be planted with a permit from the City. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department for more information. Certain species are not allowed, by ordinance. Some areas, such as intersections, have restrictions which must be observed for public safety purposes.

Management Plan

When new trees are planted, it is advised that the owner follow a management plan that includes close observation and scheduled trimming to make sure these trees adopt into their constricted environments. Proactive trimming when the tree is young is the best way to control shape, minimize or eradicate present or future risks, and positively affect the health and longevity of the tree. Early removal of the lowest branches also hastens the vertical growth of trees.

The boulevard environment is a highly visible area. Although these trees are most beneficial to individual property owners, the care of these trees also reflects on the immediate neighborhood. Trees properly maintained improve public safety and beautify the entire community.

Additional Information

Residents who wish to receive further information on this subject may contact the City Forester Luther Overholt at 952-826-0308.