Concerns About a Tree

Do You Have a Concern About a Tree?

The citizens of Red Wing are invested in their community and often contact the City to report tree-related problems on public and private property. While the City of Red Wing rarely intervenes with trees on private land, it encourages its citizens to contact the Public Works Department when they see a sick or hazardous tree on public property, such as parks and boulevards.

City Takes Active Role

There are some instances when the City of Red Wing takes an active role in the assessment, care, and management of private trees:

  • Dutch Elm Disease (DED) – Spread by the elm bark beetle, DED is a lethal disease which kills one of the most popular and desired street trees, the American elm (and many other elm varieties).
  • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) – A lethal disease spread by the tiny emerald ash borer beetle which quickly kills all the ash trees within an infected region.
  • Oak Wilt Disease – Caused by a fungus (Ceratocystis fagacearum) oak wilt was first discovered in Wisconsin in the 1940s and has since caused significant oak death.
  • Dead, diseased, hazardous or infectious trees: The City has the right to cause removal. (Ordinance Section 10.13, Subd 3).

Hazardous Tree

A hazardous tree is one displaying defects or damages such as cracks, weak or dead branches, decay, and insect infestation that could result in tree failure and cause possible damage to people or property. While the City will assess trees reported by homeowners and citizens, it does not have the resources to intervene in all cases, so it will only take action when there is a high probability of tree failure or the consequences of failure would result in severe or significant consequences.

Tree Inspector

When the City receives a complaint about a tree, it will send out a Tree Inspector from the Public Works Department to inspect the tree and make an assessment. If necessary, the City forester, a certified arborist, will be called out to make a more detailed report.


The majority of complaints and disputes about trees in a neighboring yard or privately owned property are left for the homeowners to resolve amongst themselves. In the rare instance where the city does condemn a tree, it follows a process spelled out in the ordinance for notice and appeal of the removal decision before any action is taken to prune or remove the tree. Since the City contract for public tree removal does not apply to trees on private property, homeowners may prefer to make their own arrangements for tree work.