This website is a proposed design and rewrite for Robbinsdale, Minnesota.
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Robbinsdale City Hall

Robbinsdale City Hall

4100 Lakeview Avenue North
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Andrew Bonney Robbins, founder of Robbinsdale, Minnesota

Andy sez, You’re gonna love Robbinsdale Forestry

Andrew Bonney Robbins signature

Forestry management

Forestry manages Robbinsdale’s trees, our forest resources.

City-owned trees

The department determines the needs of City-owned trees growing on street right-of-ways, in parks, and on other City-owned property, and schedules and supervises the work.

Forestry also manages reforestation, provides advisory assistance to citizens, reviews new development landscape plans, and enforces landscape-related City Code.

Forestry management

Whose tree is it? Public

Public trees

The City of Robbinsdale owns and maintains those trees growing around municipal offices and facilities, on street rights-of-way, in city parks, and in a few other isolated areas.

City Code directs the Forestry Department to plant, manage, trim, and remove these trees. The street right-of-way typically extends inward about fifteen feet from the curb, although exceptions exist. If you are in doubt about tree ownership on the right-of-way, and planning tree work in the questioned area, please call.

Citizens are encouraged to report broken branches, possible diseased trees, clearance and other tree-related problems of city trees to the Forestry Department. In some instances, a citizen is allowed to plant, trim, or remove a City-owned tree, after applying for the relevant action through the Forestry Office. An electronic copy of the required permit application for planting a tree on City-owned boulevards can be accessed at this website.

Other public trees

Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation also own land in Robbinsdale on which trees grow. Please report concerns regarding such trees to the Forestry Department and they will be forwarded to the appropriate authority.

Forestry management

Whose tree is it? Private

Your trees, those growing on your property, are your responsibility. A tree or shrub can be jointly-owned if it is growing on the property line, with near equal portions of the trunk on both sides of the line. In this case, such a plant would be jointly-owned, meaning that the responsibility for the plant is also shared.

Your neighbors’ trees, while growing on their property, may overhang your property. If conflicts arise, the first step is to discuss the situation with your neighbor. Together, attempt to reach agreement that solves the potential problem in a manner acceptable to both parties. From a legal standpoint, pruning cuts on neighboring trees must be made at your property line or inward, so that the tree is not harmed (hint: make proper cuts).

You may perform tree care operations, including tree pruning and removing, yourself, or you may choose a private tree care company that is licensed by the City of Robbinsdale. See Licensed Tree Services.

The City has put together some tips in Choosing An Arborist in Robbinsdale.

Good information and advice about tree care is available at University of Minnesota Forestry Extension.

Forestry management

The City manages community forest on an eight-year rotation.

City-owned trees are divided into eight zones. Each year, the trees in one zone are pruned.

Trees are trimmed to reduce hazards, provide clearance, improve structure, and to remove dead or diseased wood .

Citizen pruning and removal requests are considered and included in work plans as deemed necessary by the City Forester.

Diseased City-owned trees are removed within twenty days, whenever possible.

Other trees that must be removed

Dead and dying trees and hazardous trees are scheduled according to relative risk to people and property and budgetary and scheduling constraints.

The City chooses a tree service contractor each year based on bid prices for projected work, demonstrated performance, and ability to respond in a timely fashion.

Forestry management

Trees are planted on City-owned property to replace those that have been removed, to honor requests by citizens, and to enhance the community’s forest.

Where and when to plant.

Considerations include the visual gap or void in the landscape, the age of the citizen’s request, plans for the site, and utility and safety concerns. “Locates” are done through Gopher One-Call prior to planting. The City Forester maintains the tree planting request log and, with other City staff, makes tree placement decisions. Trees planted on City of Robbinsdale property are planted and maintained at City expense with no cost to the adjoining property owner.

Painting a white “T” on the curb at the approximate planting location marks planting sites. A mailing is sent informing the occupant or property owner of the proposed planting. If you receive such a notice and have concerns or questions, call the Forestry Department.

Once a tree-planting site has been selected, it is evaluated to choose a tree species that is likely to thrive there.

Determination is based on soil type, exposure, nearby plantings, possible utility and other conflicts, and the mature characteristics of the tree under consideration. Once a tree species has been chosen, care is taken to find a healthy example of that species. If that is not possible, then a substitution is made to assure a healthy and suitable choice.

Forestry management

You can help water trees.

After trees have been planted, they will be watered at least twice by the City or its contractors.

If the newly planted tree is near your house, a second mailing will let you know what kind of tree you have and how to help the tree to remain healthy, providing a welcome addition to your home or business environment. The greatest need will be water.

The Forestry Department needs your help with watering newly planted trees—and all trees during periods of drought. On average, trees need one inch of water a week during the growing season.


  1. Water newly planted trees once every seven to ten days during dry periods in spring, summer, and fall.

  2. Water trees less than five years old every seven to ten days if significant rainfall has not occurred. 30–40 gallons, slowly applied, is desirable.

  3. Running your garden hose under the tree crown (expanse of branches) at a slow, gentle speed works well.

  4. Mulch around the tree trunk helps conserve moisture and reduces mechanical damage to the tree.

Forestry management

Forestry in times of trouble

When a privately owned elm tree is confirmed to be infected with Dutch elm disease, a notice is sent to the property owner with instructions

Approximate content of Notice to Property Owner:

↕ Scroll for more

Notice to Remove a Dead or Diseased Elm from Private Property

The City of Robbinsdale’s Dutch elm disease program aims to control this contagious, fatal disease of elm trees, while meeting the requirements of Minnesota laws and regulations.

Because the prompt removal of dead and diseased elm trees is the most effective method of controlling the spread of this disease, City Ordinance 835 orders the City Forester to inspect elms in the city, both public and private, identifying dead and diseased trees, and cause them to be removed in a timely manner.

Accordingly, the City Forester has identified and marked an elm tree on your property as being dead or diseased. Proper tree removal includes:

  1. The tree is to be cut down, with the remaining stump cut as closly as possible to ground level.
  2. The remaining stump must be debarked above ground level.
  3. No elm wood with attached bark nor elm brush may be stored within the City of Robbinsdale. This eliminates potential breeding sites of the elm bark beetles that spread the disease.

Tree Removal Options

Please choose from the three options listed, note your preference on the enclosed stamped post card, sign it, and mail it back to us.

  1. Request that the City of Robbinsdale’s tree service contractor remove the tree.
    1. The City Forester will authorize the City contractor to remove the tree and dispose of all resulting wood and brush. Note: stump grinding or removal is not included as part of tree removal.
    2. The City of Robbinsdale will pay the bill for this work, and then invoice the authorizing home or business owner, plus a $75 administration fee.
    3. Unpaid invoice balances after thirty days will be added to the property owner’s taxes. This special assessment accrues interest, and shall be payable over a three-year period.
  2. Hire a tree service company licensed by the City of Robbinsdale to remove the tree.
    Tree services must be licensed by the City of Robbinsdale, which requires proof of liability and worker’s compensation insurance. A list of licensed companies is enclosed. Licensed tree services companies must be used in the City of Robbinsdale.
  3. Remove the tree yourself as prescribed to the satisfaction of the City Forester..

Noncompliance with a Tree Removal Order

If the property owner has not removed the tree by the removal deadline, the City of Robbinsdale is authorized to assign the work to the City’s tree service contractor. The contractor will follow proper tree removal procedures detailed above, and will not remove the stump.

  1. The City will invoice the property owner for the total cost of tree removal plus a $150 administration fee.
  2. Unpaid balances after thirty days will be added to the property owner’s taxes. This special assessment accrues interest, and shall be payable in full over a three-year period.

Call 763-531-1273.

Forestry in times of trouble

Response to storm damage

Response to City-owned tree damage is prioritized, addressing in order:

  • Safety
  • Passage and clearance
  • Tree repair
  • General clean up

For tree removals, stumps will be ground out at a later date. If you see a public tree that is leaning, has broken branches or hangers, cracks, or other defects that pose safety concerns, contact Forestry at 763-531-1273 or Public Works at 763-531-1202.

Trees that are damaged in a storm should be approached with caution.

Often, particularly after non-straight line winds, the damage to a tree or branch may not be immediately apparent. Branches that have come into contact with a power line could be dangerous.

If you suspect that a tree is in contact with an energized wire, stay clear of it and contact Xcel Energy immediately at 1-800-895-4999.

After a storm, properly dispose of debris, remembering that City of Robbinsdale Code prohibits storage of elm wood with its bark attached.

Forestry in times of trouble

Dutch elm disease threatens our community’s elms and oak wilt threatens our oaks.

Both diseases are lethal and contagious vascular diseases that spread via root connections between trees and bark-boring insects, but are host-specific, i.e., Dutch elm disease only occurs on elms.

Once an elm or oak has been diagnosed with one of these diseases, it usually must be removed and the wood and debris disposed of properly.

In rare cases, when early diagnosis allows, curative treatments such as combined injection of systemic fungicides and removal of symptomatic wood. may be allowed.

The City Code directs the Forestry Department to manage diseases.

When a dead or diseased elm or oak is located on private property, a notice will be sent to the property owner, identifying the tree and explaining removal options. The notice specifies the completion deadline, which is twenty days during the growing season.

Check Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Council website for a list of resources.

Forestry in times of trouble

Robbinsdale does not offer wood chips..

Wood Chips are available from many commercial tree firms, often for free.

The City of Minneapolis makes wood chips available in many of their parks. These wood chips, generated from forestry operations, are suitable for mulching around trees and other landscape plants, reducing weeds and conserving water.

University of Minnesota Forestry Extension discusses methods and benefits of mulching.

Forestry in times of trouble

Resources for Tree and Tree Care ↕ Scroll for more

American Forests The oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country, advocates for the protection and expansion of America’s forests.

International Society of Arboriculture promotes the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture enhance Minnesotans’ quality of life by ensuring the integrity of our food supply, the health of our environment and the strength of our agricultural economy.

Minnesota Horticultural Society A not-for-profit membership organization, and is one of the largest horticultural societies in the United States. Publisher of Northern Gardener, the only magazine edited exclusively for cold climate gardening.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum As a premier northern garden, the Arboretum was born out of the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and established in 1958, with the Men’s Garden Club of Minneapolis credited with promoting the arboretum idea, raising funds and looking for a site. The Arboretum is part of the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Works with citizens to conserve and manage the state’s natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.

Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee Provides expertise, advice, coordination, and support in matters related to community forestry. It is an advocate for public and private community forestry interests statewide and serves as a forum for the exchange and dissemination of ideas and information.

National Arbor Day Foundation The largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees through conservation and education programs such as Tree City USA.

Minnesota Society of Arboriculture Promotes the planting and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, suppling information about events in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry.

Alliance for Community Trees Supports grassroots, citizen-based, nonprofit organizations dedicated to urban and community tree planting, care, conservation, and education.

National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council Discover how this federal advisory organization supports education, projects, and groups related to urban forestry, while seeking to establish sustainable urban forests.

Society of Municipal Arborists A professional affiliate of the International Society of Arboriculture, this group promotes and improves municipal arboriculture and community forestry.

Tree Trust Offers integrated employment training, case management, community forestry and environmental education programs.

University of Minnesota Forestry Extension View research, technical advice, and general information about a wealth of subjects through this outreach arm of the University.

U.S. Forest Service Develops partnerships with agencies to plant trees, improve trails, provid education about conservation and fire prevention. Promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation internationally.

Forestry in times of trouble