Public Works Forestry/Arborist

Introduction

The City of Marquette is committed by Section 22, policy, and tradition to the full responsibility for the management of our community's street-side and park trees. Each of these trees has three fundamental management requirements: Planting, Maintenance, and Removal.

Of the typical tree maintenance activities--e.g. watering, mulching, fertilizing--the pruning and timely removal of long-established trees are the functions which ultimately provide a safe and attractive urban environment in which our citizenry (customers) reside.

Citizen Involvement

Managing and maintaining approximately 5,500 street-side trees, as well as the thousands that grow in city parks, is a large task made easier with citizen involvement. If you know of a street-side or other city-owned tree that may be diseased, insect infested, decayed, or otherwise hazardous you can help keep your neighborhood and community safe by bringing this to our attention.

Residents who have a problem or question related to their home landscape can give their Forestry Division a call. We will be happy to come to your home, assess the situation, and advise you on the appropriate procedure, treatment, or general care required for maintaining your landscape plants. Our staff includes an arborist with nearly 20 years of municipal forestry experience who is available to respond to city tree service and resident requests, speak to local organizations or school groups about Marquette's forestry program, and assist the community in any way possible with tree-related information.

Property Owner Responsibility

Residents are required to maintain the vegetation on their property, as per Section 22-134, to avoid visibility obstructions at intersections, provide adequate street and sidewalk clearance, and alleviate any hazards which endanger adjoining properties. Homeowners who wish to plant, maintain, or remove public vegetation are required to obtain a permit from the Arborist prior to initiating such work.

To assist in the homeowner's maintenance of their property's landscaping, the city provides several rubbish, brush, and leaf disposal opportunities. The city provides curbside brush collection services twice per year, and maintains a brush and yard waste disposal site at the old Cliffs Dow property which is staffed from mid-April to mid-December.

Forestry Maintenance

By definition, tree maintenance includes "all practices between planting and removal necessary for reasonable plant health, vigor, and viability."

Maintenance practices such as watering, mulching, staking, fertilizing, insect & disease control, and damage repair are carried out by the Forestry Division as required throughout the year. Pruning--the primary tree maintenance practice--is carried out year round to:

  • provide for adequate street, sidewalk, and building clearances
  • reduce the hazards associated with large (4" diameter or greater) dead wood
  • "train" small trees to develop branching habits that ensure structural strength and lower maintenance requirements as the tree matures.

While training and clearance pruning of small trees are high priorities for the division public safety is of primary concern. If you know of a street-side or other City-owned tree with diseased, insect infested, decayed, or otherwise hazardous branching, you can help your neighborhood and community by calling 906.228.0444.

Forestry Planting

For the past 17 years, the City of Marquette has planted between 50 and 100 trees annually along street rights-of-way and in parks. Trees are planted as:

  • replacements for those trees lost to failure or construction projects
  • new introductions into areas recently developed or previously devoid of trees
  • to respond to adjacent homeowner request

Tree plantings are governed by the philosophy of placing the "right tree in the right place." Consequently, trees are not necessarily replaced on a one-for-one basis following tree removals. Often times, existing trees are located too densely or are found on sites with insufficient space to adequately sustain a replacement tree. Trees of smaller stature at maturity are planted under overhead utility transmission lines to reduce eventual utility/tree conflicts.

A wide variety of tree species are selected for planting in an effort to diversify the overall population. Diversity in both age and species composition promotes an overall healthy forest which can resist invasions from diseases and insects such as Gypsy Moth, Forest Tent Caterpillar, and Emerald Ash Borer. Ellwood Mattson Lower Harbor Park has acted as a proving ground for several new and unique species, including Ginkgo, Bald cypress, Silver Linden, Kentucky Coffee tree, Pink Horsechestnut, and disease-resistant Elms.

Donate

The city both appreciates and welcomes donations to assist in our tree planting efforts.  Donations can be made in one of three ways:

  • The city accepts tax free donations via the city Gift Fund. By specifying the Heritage Tree Fund, one can be assured that donations will be earmarked for future tree planting projects.
  • The Memorial Tree Planting Program provides a means for establishing a living memorial which commemorates an individual, group, or event within one of our city's parks.
  • Property owners can donate plant materials (trees, shrubs, perennials) from their landscaping for transplanting to a city park. Such donations are handled on a case by case basis, as not all landscape plants are viable candidates for such a donation. Plant species, size, age, health, accessibility, proximity to underground and overhead utilities, as well as the time of year, are all factors which may preclude such a donation.

 

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Public Works
850 W. Baraga Ave.
300 W. Baraga Ave. (Mail)
Marquette, MI 49855
Ph. 906.228.0444
Fax 906.228.0445
pubworks@mqtcty.org

Director of Public Works and Utilities
Curt Goodman
906.225.4055
cgoodman@mqtcty.org

Department Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8am-5pm