Oak at the Octagon

Oaks have a dominant central leader and strong side branches, so they're low maintenance, storm resilient and very long lived to boot. Submitted photo

After a large storm rolls through, one of the first indicators is trees. Branches down and trunks uprooted. The Hudson Urban Forestry Board urges community members to consider more sustainable and resilient options when replanting trees. 

The Hudson Public Works Department oversees the planting and care of over 7,000 trees along the streets, active park areas and other city owned property. However, according to Ken Holman, vice chair of the Hudson Urban Forestry Board, between 75-80% of the land base in Hudson is privately owned. “The public has an opportunity to plant and replant urban forests in a resilient way,” he said. Here are 5 things to know about planting trees.

1. What to plant?

“The goal is to maintain a diverse and resilient tree canopy,” states the Hudson Urban Forestry Board website. Some of the trees that are best fit for that include various kinds of cherry, elm, oak and crabapple trees. A full list of recommended trees can be found for Hudson and River Falls.

2. Why to plant? 

One of the important things, says HUFB Chair Jeff Heywood, is to gain biodiversity to reduce the spread of disease, so avoid planting the same trees. This also promotes diverse habitats for various animals. 

Planting resilient trees is also important because they live longer; they’re structurally sound, more likely to last through tough storms making them low maintenance.  

3. How to plant? 

If planting on private property, the Wisconsin DNR provides extensive online resources to guide in the tree planting process. 

It is essential to call Diggers Hotline at 1-800-242-8511 before digging to have underground utilities located. 

Hudson

If you would like to plant a tree in a right-of-way, you can call the Public Works Department at 715-386-4767 ext. 113 to be put on the planting list or if you who would like to plant your own tree, fill out a Tree Planting Permit Application on the Hudson Urban Forestry Board’s website and choose a tree from the list of recommended trees. City Forestry staff will determine if the site meets all the criteria for a tree.

River Falls

If you would like to have a tree planted by the City or plant a tree in the boulevard yourself, call the Forester’s office and schedule a consultation to ensure the tree you want to plant is the best option. The City typically plants trees in early to mid-October and new tree requests are typically fulfilled at that time.

4. Tree maintenance 

The HUFB crew performs most pruning and removals in the winter months to improve structure, remove dead wood, clear buildings and meet sidewalk and street sightline clearances per city ordinance. 

River Falls Urban Forestry performs similar tasks. In the Fall, RFUF will conduct inspections of public trees to identify hazards and trees in decline before leaf drop. Also, plant  80 to 150 trees in River Falls public boulevards, parks and green spaces before conducting pruning throughout the winter. 

5. More information

The US Department of Agriculture Forest Service booklet captures the latest research based technical information about trees from selection and siting to maintenance and removal. 

Hudson City Hall has hard copies available, but it can also be accessed online at both the HUFB and RFUF websites. 

If in doubt, contact an arborist to discuss your options. 

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