The Village has a large inventory of trees scattered throughout the community. This inventory is managed by the Village Forester on staff to maintain and care for the more than 9,000 trees that currently exist. The Village has been designated as a Tree City USA for 15 consecutive years. The Tree City USA program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters, provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of cities that more than 120 million Americans call home (Arbor Day Foundation).
- Dangerous / Hazardous Trees
- Emerald Ash Borer
- Gypsy Moths
- Tree Replacement Program
- Tree Replacement Program
There are 2 ordinances that deal with trees on public and private property that pose a risk to the health and safety of people and property:
- Hazardous Trees - Any tree or part thereof, whether alive or dead, which the Village Forester shall find to be hazardous so as to endanger the public shall be removed. The Village will issue a notice allowing the owner 30 days to trim, maintain, or remove the tree depending on the situation.
- Dangerous Trees - no tree which in the opinion of the Village Forester is likely to fall upon any sidewalk or street, or is likely to cause damage to any person or property, shall be permitted to remain standing in the Village. Typically these are situations that are more severe in nature, and are required to remove within 10 days from the date of notice.
If a property owner fails to comply with the notice in either case, the Village Forester can arrange to have the tree removed at the property owners expense. Please contact the Village Hall for more information or with questions 414-962-6690.
Emerald Ash borer (EAB) continues to spread throughout Milwaukee County and southeastern Wisconsin. This past year initial finds of EAB, in the north shore area, were confirmed in the following communities: Fox Point, Shorewood, River Hills, Bayside and Glendale. As of April 2017, there has not been a confirmed detection in Whitefish Bay. In 2011, the Village Board approved an EAB Initiative to put in place a management strategy to best manage the Village’s ash street tree population through a potential EAB infestation period.
During the past 6 years, the Village has removed and replaced 1,477 ash trees. We have replaced the ash trees with 18 different varieties of trees in order to create a more diverse species mix. There currently are 2,692 ash trees remaining in terrace areas along Village streets.
At the onset of the initiative (2011), the ash population was at 47%. Currently, the ash population is 31% of all village street trees. The goal of the EAB Initiative is to reduce the ash population to a more manageable level of around 20% of the street tree population, while maintaining as much existing street tree canopy as feasible. The Village will continue the treatment of approximately 1800 ash street trees that it began protecting in 2013. The plan for 2017 is to continue removing and replacing ash trees along with continued chemical treatment of the more desirable ash.
Beginning in 2017, there will be only one treatment program that will be utilized, the trunk injection method. This method is used on all ash species that presently meet the condition and structure criteria for treatment. This method is currently the most effective in protecting ash trees from succumbing to EAB. Treatment is required every other year.
Treatment Program (2017 Update)
The trunk treatment process will begin in early June and continue throughout the growing season. Trunk injected trees will be marked with two small fluorescent vertical green dots (on the street side) at the base of the tree.
Approximately 1000 ash trees will be marked for treatment in 2017. The 800 trees that were treated last year (2016) will be treated again in 2018.
Please note: Many properties have multiple ash trees in the terrace area and not all will be treated. In order to get the best distribution possible village-wide, some trees were bypassed in order to achieve the desired uniformity.
Black Dots on Trees
Village parkway trees that have black dots on them (about 5 feet above grade, street side) are not at all related to our EAB Project. It simply means that the tree has been trimmed within the past couple of years as part of our tree maintenance program.
By taking a few easy steps, you can help protect trees in WFB from the threat of gypsy moths, which are present in SE Wisconsin. Fall is an important time to destroy the eggs that gypsy moths have laid that will hatch in spring. Each egg mass destroyed is 600-1,000 fewer caterpillars that won’t be attacking leaves on trees next year. According to the DNR, gypsy moths are particularly fond of oak, white birch, mountain ash and linden trees. They can also be found on maples and chestnut trees.
Gypsy moth egg masses are often found in cracks or hidden spots. On trees, they can be found in cracks in bark, on the underside of large branches, under peeling bark or in holes. Log or rock piles are other favorite spots to hide egg masses. Female moths will also place egg masses on lawn furniture and play sets, behind shutters, beneath lower rows of shingles and under soffits on homes and garages. Egg masses are typically teardrop shaped and about 1 to 2 inches long. They are a buff yellow-brown color, similar to the color or a manila folder. They look like they’re made of a rounded pad of felt and are firm to the touch. The mass will persist after the eggs have hatched in May and then are bleached, often torn, and soft and spongy to the touch. If you find any masses you should take action (spray or scrape) by mid-April before the larvae begin to hatch.
Physically remove the egg masses - Scrape the egg masses into a jar and microwave on high for two minutes, or cover them with soapy water for at least two days to kill the eggs. Be sure to kill the eggs, as masses just scraped onto the ground and crushed under foot can survive. Wear gloves when handling egg masses as the hairs in the “felt” can cause a skin rash.
Spray egg masses with special oil - The UW-Extension recommends Golden Pest Spray Oil from Stoller Enterprises, Inc. The active ingredient in this product is soybean oil and it acts by coating the eggs and suffocating the larval embryo within. GPSO also includes dispersants that keep the oil in a fine emulsion so that it penetrates the egg mass well. Soybean oil by itself won’t penetrate the egg mass hairs. GPSO can be sprayed directly on gypsy moth egg masses from late Fall through mid-April whenever the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is available locally at garden centers. The DNR has an excellent pamphlet regarding gypsy moths that can be found online. For further assistance, residents should contact a tree care company.
The Village adds about 60 replacement trees to the urban forest every year. When a new tree is planted in front of your house, you can help to ensure that the tree will do well. New trees need to be watered during dry periods, usually July, August, and early September. Residents should be careful to not over-water during wet periods, as too much water can actually damage a tree.
The Village's urban forest is pruned on a 7-year cycle with approximately 1/7th of the public trees trimmed annually to maintain good health. During the winter months the larger sized trees are pruned using a private contractor through the public bid process. The smaller trees are trimmed using Village crews.
Trees located near intersections are trimmed more regularly by Village crews for safety. If you see a public tree that concerns you, email the Village Forester or call them at 414-967-5128. Please see the Future Annual Pruning Cycle (PDF) for the annual locations of tree pruning.