Tree Trimming

City Trimming
Tree branches in the city right-of-way that obstruct sight, are a safety hazard, are diseased or inhibit maintenance operations will be trimmed or removed by city crews. This includes keeping boulevard trees that overhang city streets trimmed back.

It is also important to keep all stop signs and street signs in clear sight. If you see a sight obstruction at an intersection, please call the Public Works Department at 651-249-2400 and it will be investigated. Frequently branches will be broken off from boulevard trees during severe storms with high winds. If a branch falls into the street so that it would be a traffic hazard, please notify the Public Works Department between 8 am and 4:30 p.m. or the Police at 651-777-8191 after these hours.

Street personnel will be sent to assess the situation and remove the tree, if necessary. Branches that fall from boulevard trees will be removed by the city. Branches that fall from trees on private property are the responsibility of the homeowner.
Timing and Benefit
Late winter is a great time to think about tree trimming.  All trees, large and small, can benefit from proper trimming.  There are 3 major reasons to prune trees:
1. Safety
2. Health of tree
3. Aesthetics
Resident Trimming
Whether you hire an arborist or do your own work, here are some things to remember: 
  • If a branch is touching or near an overhead utility line, do not trim the branch. Instead call your utility company to arrange for removal of the branch.
  • Remove branches that could cause injury or property damage if they were to fall. This includes dead and broken branches as well as standing dead trees.
  • Trim out branches that cross over other branches and create a rubbing wound on the branch.
  • Trim up lower branches that are in your way for lawn maintenance.
  • Try not to remove more than 1/4 of live branches or crown of the tree in 1 season. Maintain live branches on at least 2/3 of the tree’s total height. Never have a tree topped as this may kill your tree.
Younger trees benefit from trim work every 3 to 5 years to create scaffold branches and good form. Larger trees need maintenance trim work every 5 to 7 years for branch removal.

Ramsey County has brush disposal sites available to residents free of charge. The Ramsey County yard waste number is 651-773-4455.

Xcel Energy Trimming
Xcel Energy hires a crew to trim branches (and, in some cases, remove trees) away from power lines in order to prevent outages when powerful winds and storms move through our area.

These trees are trimmed in cycles based on specific tree clearance guidelines and safety standards. Brush and debris may be left on your front yard following the trimming or removal of trees. Xcel makes every attempt to pick this up within 48 hours after the trimming.

To report brush left more than 2 or 3 days, please call 800-895-4999. Property owners are responsible for trimming trees around the line that runs from the utility pole to their house.

If you have additional questions about Xcel's tree-trimming operation, call the operations coordinator at 651-768-5115.