Urban Forestry

About River Falls Urban Forestry

River Falls Urban Forestry is located within the Operations Department. Urban Forestry is responsible for approximately 8000 park, boulevard, and greenspace trees throughout River Falls. The city has had a City Forester on staff since 1990 and now has added its first ISA Certified Arborist to its staff in 2015.

River Falls has been named a Tree City USA for nearly 20 years in a row and continually aims to grow a healthy and diverse urban forest.

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Maximizing Natural Amenities

The City of River Falls has a number of natural amenities that provide a quality living and working environment for its residents and visitors. The local streams, rivers, lakes, park areas, topography, and trees are some of these valued resources. All of these amenities must be properly managed to both maximize their potential and prevent deterioration. Our urban trees are a vital and beautiful piece of this environment.

Urban trees provide many social, economic and environmental benefits. These benefits range from increased property values with properties with mature trees, to cleaner air, to reduced storm water runoff into the Kinnickinnic and our other watersheds. Along with these benefits, trees in urban areas also need constant monitoring for potential hazards to the public through hanging limbs or other defects. Due to urban stressors such as soil compaction, road salt, and dry conditions, urban trees are also much more susceptible to disease and insect damage and therefore require constant monitoring.

Urban Forestry Mission Statement

The mission of the city's Urban Forestry Program is to preserve and perpetuate one of the community's most valuable natural resources and assets, its municipal forest of trees on public property. This includes trees on boulevards, parks, and other city properties.

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Emerald Ash Borer is small green bug that attacks and kills all trees in the ash family (Fraxinus spp). River Falls has an estimated 2000 ash public ash trees and the amount of ash trees on private property is unknown. This invasive insect has been spreading across the state of Wisconsin for the last ten years and is now on our doorstep. The closest confirmed insect find is in Hudson, Wisconsin discovered in 2018. The impacts this insect will have on our urban forest when it arrives will be devastating. If you have or think you have an ash tree on your property and want to know what you can do to not lose your ash tree please visit the links below and the EAB FAQ.

Urban Forestry Annual Projects & Events

  • Arbor Day tree planting event(s) in late April
  • Spring inspection of public trees identifying hazards or trees in decline before bud break
  • Ongoing tree removals of dying or diseased trees as disease and insect activity increase
  • Storm cleanup and tree inspections after severe weather events
  • Fall inspection of public trees identifying hazards or trees in decline before leaf drop
  • Fall tree planting of 80 to 150 trees in our public boulevards, parks, and green spaces in October
  • Winter month boulevard tree pruning with both city pruning crews and city contracted tree service

Have questions on a city-owned tree? Please visit our Urban Forestry FAQ page

Online Resources

Emerald Ash Information

Helpful Links

Wisconsin DNR EAB Website

Wisconsin's Emerald Ash Borer Information Source