The Village has an inventory of over 9000 trees scattered throughout the community. This inventory is managed and maintained by the Village Forester. The Village has been designated as a Tree City USA for 24 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.
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. In late June of 2017, the Wisconsin Dept. Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection confirmed EAB in Whitefish Bay. The initial find was on Lake Drive Court, north of Klode Park.
In 2011, the Village Board realizing that at some point EAB would arrive in the Village, approved an EAB Initiative. The purpose was 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 7 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 2,514 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 29% 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 2018 is to continue removing and replacing ash trees along with continued chemical treatment of the more desirable ash.
Beginning in 2017, The Village adopted a trunk injection (root flare) treatment program. This will be the only treatment method utilized in the future. This process is used on all ash species that presently meet the condition and structure criteria for treatment. The product, Emamectin benzoate, is currently the most effective in protecting ash trees from succumbing to EAB. Treatment is required every other year.
Treatment Program (2018 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 horizontal green dots (on the street side) at the base of the tree.
Approximately 850 ash trees have been marked for treatment in 2018. The 990 trees that were treated last year (2017) will be treated again in 2019.
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.
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.
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 in July, August, and early September. Residents should be careful to not over-water during wet periods, as too much water can damage a tree.