Trees & Shrubbery in Decorah

Posted: September 21, 2022 in Street Department News, Tree Board Resources

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an exotic invasive beetle that is significantly impacting native and urban forests.  EAB has been positively identified in Winneshiek County since 2012.  It has since been found in numerous locations throughout the City of Decorah.  Those locations, along with the City’s EAB Management Plan, can be found here.

You have the option to treat Right-of-Way ash trees adjoining your property for EAB.  An EAB Treatment Permit must be submitted to the City Forester and the tree assessed prior to the tree being professionally treated.

Trees on this list are considered to be potential hazards by the Tree Board and may not be planted on the boulevard or right-of-way within six feet of any street in Decorah: Boxelder, Bradford Pear, Catalpa, Cedars, Firs, Pines, Corkscrew Willow, Cottonwood(not cottonless), Cotton Poplar, European Mountain Ash, Evergreens, Fruit Trees, Hedges, Lombardy Poplar, Nut-bearing Trees, Paper Birch, Pin Oak, Siberian Elm, Silver Maple, Walnut, White Mulberry.

This is typically indicated by the space between the street and sidewalk.  Size can vary, but homeowners can use a general measurement of 12′-15′ from the curb.  Or look to neighboring homes with existing ROW space to identify their own ROW.

When looking to plant trees in ROW, if a sidewalk DOES NOT currently exist or future sidewalk space is undetermined, a survey can be taken by homeowners at their own expense to determine sidewalk placement.  Please contact the City Forester or Street Department Commissioner with further questions.

(See also Decorah City Ordinance)

  • Obtain a permit from the City Forester before planting a tree on the right-of-way.
  • Trim trees to a minimum clearance of 8′ over sidewalks and 14′ over streets.
  • Avoid planting trees and shrubs within 25′ of an intersection, 4′ of an alley, or 6′ of a driveway.
  • Plant trees at least 40′ apart on right-of-way.
  • Maintain the health of trees so they do not constitute a hazard to other trees, vehicles, pedestrians, or property.
  • A removal permit from the City Forester is required before the removal of any boulevard tree.

Decorah Tree Board Members