80 trees on chopping block for street improvements project starting Monday, April 23; 100 more considered

In last week’s Administrator’s Memo, Engineering Tech Coordinator Sean Simonson has an update on the Lockwood Dr/Division St/Roosevelt Dr Improvements (2012 Construction) Project. Among other news, he wrote:

Heselton Construction has also indicated they will have their tree removal contractor on site the week of April 23rd to begin on tree removals throughout the entire project corridor…

Staff held the third and final open house Neighborhood Meeting this week. Staff presented the final construction plans to residents, and was on hand to discuss any issues property owners may have about the upcoming Street Improvement Project. Staff sent out a letter early last week encouraging property owners to set up a meeting on-site at their property to discuss the project on a property by property basis. So far, 26 meetings have been scheduled for next week.

See the October 21, 2011 Arborist’s Report and the Tree Impacts Map:

arborist report 2012Of the 203 trees on public ROW, there are 31 ash trees recommended for preemptive removal due to EAB (see appendix on EAB). Another 34 are recommended for removal based on a current poor condition or conflict. Nine location points were in fact buckthorn, and listed for removal.

tree impactsFifteen more trees of other species are categorized as becoming a possible liability within ten years, and recommended for probable removal due to various conflicts with infrastructure or other issues.

This leaves some 104 other trees that are still in a category of ‘To Be Determined’, as more detailed or confirmed information on impacts become available, and using a CRZ impact approach. Of the trees on private property, 26 are recommended for removal, either due to condition or obvious conflicts. Privately-owned ash trees have not been listed as removals, as treatment options are available.

Given last year’s debacle with trees on Linden and Plum, I hope all residents in the affected areas are fully aware of the plans:

  • DSC04891Linden St N (starting at Lincoln Pkwy)
  • Lockwood Dr (up to Meldahl Dr)
  • Division St (from Woodley to 8th St)
  • 8th St (from Water to Washington)


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    I drove Division St (from Woodley to 8th St) and 8th St (from Water to Washington) this morning and didn’t see any trees marked for removal.

    It seems like the City of Northfield should use a visual notification system, maybe something like the one described here.

    April 18, 2012
  2. It is unfortunate that so many trees were planted (along Lockwood and Roosevelt) in the realistic path of a sidewalk — the installation of sidewalk is largely why so many of these have to come down now. The City has been accommodating in the past, to wind sidewalks if necessary around trees of note. But it would be nice if property owners had a few more options. Let’s remember, this is the situation:

    Standard right of way is 60-66′. Standard curb-to-curb street width is 30-36′. Let’s say a 30′ street on 60′ ROW for simplicity. Thus, the city owns 15 feet on either side of the road. If a tree is planted more than 5 or so feet from the curb, it would either be in the direct path of a sidewalk, or close enough that its roots would disrupt the concrete.

    But it seems that a lot of homeowners would rather see the sidewalk be a bit closer to their house than to cut down trees. It would be nice if there were a mechanism to sell/trade property for additional right of way, in exchange for a guarantee that adjacent trees won’t be cut down. This would be win-win, as wider boulevards (and any boulevards with trees) greatly enhance the aesthetic and safety experience of the sidewalk.

    Griff: I agree about the signage. It’s not fair to expect residents to dig up documents buried on the City website in order to know they’ll lose their boulevard tree(s).

    April 19, 2012
  3. Helene Haapala said:

    Lockwood is on our morning walk and it was just sad to see so many trees gone. Especially the really big weeping willow trees. They must have been there forever… but no more….

    April 28, 2012