Trees and Forestry
A Tree Manual (PDF) has been developed to help residents grow our urban forest canopy. The Manual includes ordinance standards, tree planting & care guidance, a list of acceptable species and more. Residents are encouraged to use the manual to help improve the health of trees as Ash trees succumb to Emerald Ash Borer. To avoid future significant tree loss, residents are encouraged to choose a wide variety of trees and be aware Maple species are becoming perhaps too prevalent at this time.
New rules provide for reforestation of street rights of way (boulevards). A permit is required for planting of trees in boulevard tree permit zones. Property owners seeking boulevard tree permits are encouraged to review planting location guidelines.
Licensed Tree Services
All tree services need to be licensed, insured, and bonded through the City of Belle Plaine. A list of tree care providers licensed in Belle Plaine is maintained for public information. Please verify your contractor has a valid license.
The City of Belle Plaine has certified tree inspectors on staff to assist you with any questions you have about your trees. Please contact your Public Works department to learn more. Call: 952-873-6742.
Trees on planted on private property are to be planted at least five (5) feet from any property line. Please note the City has no ability to resolve tree location disputes between property owners.
Property owner are responsible for finding their property lines - the City does have a metal detector loan program to assist in locating property pins/stakes.
Planting trees requires locates to be done on the property prior to digging. Please call 811.
Belle Plaine is a recognized Tree City USA city.
The Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover. Tree City USA also gives cities an avenue to celebrate their work. Tree City USA is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation.
Urban tree cover provides several benefits to communities:
- Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40%.
- Neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
- Trees reduce energy costs up to 25% by shading buildings and protecting them from winter winds.
- Homes with trees have higher property values.
- Green space plays a major role in improving mental and physical health.
- Planting and maintaining trees absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.
Belle Plaine Arbor Day
Each Spring the City Council proclaims "Arbor Day" in Belle Plaine. The event calls attention to the importance of the urban tree canopy and is commemorated by planting a tree. In 2022, Arbor Day was celebrated on Friday, April 29th.
How to enjoy trees on Arbor Day and year-round:
- Go for a Nature Hike. The City of Belle Plaine has over 13.5 miles of trails and 21.5 miles of city sidewalks. Most are lined with several varieties of trees.
- Organize a tree scavenger hunt to identify tree species.
- Go to the library and read about nature and/or trees.
- Have a picnic under your favorite tree.
- Start a pinecone or acorn collection.
- Go on a zip line tour through a tree canopy.
- Drive the Scenic Byway (a 'must drive' in the fall). Starting in Belle Plaine go North on Highway 25 and turn left on Highway 6. Drive this route all the way to Mankato or turn left in Blakeley to return back to Belle Plaine.