Street Tree Information

Every year, the City of Madison adds around 20 to 40 street trees. Placement of the trees can provide many benefits to City residents.

  • Trees lower street and sidewalk temperatures during summer months.
  • Shade trees can reduce air conditioning costs and help cleanse the air of diesel and dust.
  • Trees absorb carbon dioxide, which helps ease the negative effects of greenhouses gasses.
  • Tree roots help hold storm water in soil.
  • Tree-lined streets encourage motorists to drive slower.
  • Tree leave and roots filter particles from storm water, improving water quality.
  • Trees significantly enhance property values.

The city arborist oversees the health and maintenance of these trees throughout the year.

Tree Planting Programs

The City of Madison has a variety of programs available for residents interested in adding trees to public spaces around their building and homes.

Replacing Existing Trees

If a tree was removed in front of your house, it can be replaced at no expense to you. Call 812-265-8300, and leave your name, address, and phone number. The City Arborist will contact you about a replacement.

Requesting a New Tree Planting

You may request a new tree from the City Arborist. In which case, your address will be added to the City’s list of future tree planting locations. There is no charge for this, but it is not a guarantee that a tree will be planted at your address.

Commemorative Tree Program

The Commemorative Tree Program is another option for people or organizations to honor a person, significant life event, or other occasion. Your cost for a commemorative tree planting is $200.

Plantings generally take place in spring or in the fall when necessary. All street trees depend on the help of residents for weeding and watering. For new street trees, weekly watering and weeding is critical for their survival.

How to Care for Street Trees

Please be cautious when trimming around trees. Weed Whackers are the most common cause of death for Street Trees. As people trim grass around the base of the trunk, the nylon lines are often cutting completely through the bark of the tree. The tree bark carries food and water up the tree. Without bark, the tree will die. As noted, city trees depend greatly on residents for weeding. This is especially true with newly planted trees. Place a hose running at a slow trickle until the ground is well-soaked. "Tree bags" can also work well.

Bylaws Related to Trees and Shrubs

The City Arborist oversees the maintenance of trees and shrubs located on public sidewalks and streets, and enforces the maintenance of trees and shrubs on private property in order to ensure our community remains beautiful.

Trees on Public Property

Under our Tree Protection bylaw, the maintenance of trees on public property is the sole responsibility of the City Arborist. Our bylaw states that: -Cutting, removing, or pruning of the City of Madison Trees is prohibited until City permission is granted.

  • Citizens cannot penetrate the bark or attach any object or sign to trees on City land.
  • Citizens cannot spray City trees with any substance except water.
  • Citizens cannot attach electrical cords or objects to City trees.