Environmental Services / Forestry

Yard Waste Site

The brush and soft yard waste drop-off sites located at 1128 Swift Street, (southwest intersection of Saint Julien and Swift Streets) with access off West Swift Street are open year around for your convenience in dropping off brush and soft yard waste. 

The drop-off site is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash borer (EAB) is a non-native invasive beetle whose larvae feeds on the inner bark of ash trees and attacks all species of ash trees found in Minnesota. EAB has no natural predators in the USA and research has shown that it kills 99.7% of all ash trees. As of January 2019,  EAB is approximately 40 miles north in Scott County, 70 miles east in Dodge County and 70 miles south in Martin County.

In the fall of 2018, the City of Saint Peter Council passed the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Management Plan. We are all stewards of the urban forest within Saint Peter, and the city encourages property owners to be proactive and vigilant for EAB. The more trained eyes who have knowledge of EAB the earlier it can be detected and the more management options the City will have to mitigate against EAB. There are numerous resources on EAB. Below is select list.

Using the resources, if you suspect an ash tree has EAB, contact the Public Works Department 934-0670.

Tree Planting Regulations

Trees provide a beautiful landscape for our community. To help ensure a healthy and diverse urban forest, the City Council has established regulations which identify where and what trees can be planted in the community.

If you are thinking of planting new trees, please remember State law requires you to contact Gopher State One Call by dialing 811 at least 48 hours before doing any mechanical digging on the boulevard or in your yard!

Boulevard / Public Right-of-Way Trees

Boulevards are City-owned properties abutting any public street and the City has control and supervision over all shrubs and trees planted upon or overhanging all streets or other public property and right-of-ways. Occasionally the public may wish to plant trees in the boulevard. This is permitted if the property owner obtains authorization from the City Forester before planting. The applicant will be required to specify the type and size of tree and the location of where the tree will be planted.

When planting on the boulevard, the trees shall be planted:

  1. At intersections and for conifer trees, at least forty feet from the backside of the curb, or the edge of the roadway if no curb.
  2. At intersections and for deciduous trees, at least thirty feet from the backside of the curb, or the edge of the roadway if no curb.
  3. At least ten feet from driveways and alleys.
  4. At least forty feet on center for all large trees.
  5. At least thirty feet on center for all medium trees.
  6. At least twenty-five feet on center for all small trees.
  7. At least ten feet from a fire hydrant.
  8. From the backside of the curb, a minimum distance of six feet (in a direction away from the street).
  9. A minimum distance of ten feet (in a direction away from the street) from the edge of the roadway, or from the backside of the curb where no sidewalks are present or anticipated.
  10. All deciduous trees at the time of planting on City property or public right-of-way shall be cultivated nursery stock with straight trunks not less than six feet high.
  11. All conifer trees at the time of planting on City property or public right-of-way shall be cultivated nursery stock with straight trunks not less than three feet high.
  12. No person shall plant shrubs within twenty feet from the backside of the curb or within the public right-of-way. (A "shrub" is any plant material that has several stems growing up from the ground)

Types of Trees Allowed

Only the following trees are allowed to be planted on the boulevard.

  1. Small Trees
  2. Medium Trees
  3. Large Trees

A "small tree" is any plant material that will not grow to a height exceeding thirty feet. Acceptable small trees include:

  • Amur Choke Cherry
  • Amur Crab Apple
  • Amur Maple
  • Canada Red Cherry
  • Flame Crab Apple
  • Ironwood
  • Japanese Tree Lilac
  • Radiant Crab Apple
  • Red Splendor Crab Apple
  • Russian Olive
  • Snowy Mountain Ash

Plantings That Are Not Allowed

Plantings which are not allowed anywhere in the City include:

  1. Planting medium and large trees under or within ten level feet of any overhead utility wire, over or within ten lateral feet of any underground water line, sewer line, electric transmission line, or other utility line or pole
  2. Planting any species of tree on public property or right-of-ways within the City unless authorization has been obtained from the City Forester
  3. Planting the following species:
    • Small: Cottonwood, Box Elder, Poplars
    • Medium: Soft Maple, Silver Maple, Willows
    • Large: Black Locust

Care of Trees on Boulevards

The City shall prune, maintain, and remove boulevard trees as may be necessary to ensure public safety, public access, or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.

Care of Trees on Private Property

Every owner or property abutting on any street shall trim, cut, and otherwise maintain all trees and shrubs from the line of such property nearest to such street to the center of such street in such a manner that the lowest branch of such trees shall not be less than eight feet above the sidewalk and at least fourteen feet above the street. In addition they will otherwise keep all trees, branches, and shrubs trimmed and cut so as to provide clear site distance to traffic signs and not interfere with persons or their safety, using the streets or other public property. Such person shall remove the dead or diseased branches or limbs or trees which are or may become hazardous to the public use of such right-of-way.

Tree Worker Licenses

If you need assistance caring for your trees and you are thinking of hiring a contractor, we encourage you to check with the City before hiring someone. Only tree workers who have City licenses are allowed to operate in the community. This licensing procedure involves providing proof of insurance and bonding in order to protect our citizens. If you hire an unlicensed contractor you may have no recourse should you need it.

Feel free to contact the Community Development Department office at 507-934-0661 before hiring a contractor to verify that your tree worker is licensed.  

Licensed Tree Workers