The Parks Forestry Division is responsible for the maintenance of city trees. These are trees located on the public rights of way, between the street and sidewalk (the terrace), or on City of Manitowoc property. The City Forester will make determination of the health of a city tree to decide if it warrants removal or is a hazard to the public. The Forestry Division is also responsible for approving the planting of trees in the city right-of-way (for example, the terrace) area. Anyone interested in planting or removing their own tree in the terrace area should complete a free permit.

The Parks Division will work in conjunction with property owners or their agents to maintain and prune public street trees. For trees and shrubs, the following clearances must be met:

  1. Clearance above sidewalk must be at least ten (10) feet.
  2. Clearance above street (or alley) at curb line (or edge of pavement) must be at least fourteen (14) feet.
  3. Bushes must not protrude onto the sidewalk or alleyway.
  4. A vision clearance area must be maintained. The triangular space at the street corner of a corner lot, or at the intersection of a public alley or driveway with a street from three (3) feet to ten (10) feet above grade at the right-of-way line, except as otherwise specifically authorized, must be kept clear/unoccupied. The space is determined by measuring from the point of intersection of the street lines along each street lot line, or street lot line and alley line, as the case may be, forming a triangle by striking an imaginary line between said points of measurements.
To report an ordinance violation, click here.

For information about disposal of brush at the Manitowoc County Compost sites, click here.

Violations for the damaging or mutilation of trees or shrubs located in public terrace areas are subject to a forfeiture amount of a maximum of $25 per tree or shrub damaged. In addition to the forfeiture, court-ordered restitution will be sought for all damage or loss in an amount not to exceed $4,000. All other violations are limited to a forfeiture in an amount not to exceed $500 for each offense.

The Forestry Division is unable to assist with trees on private property unless they cause a public safety hazard. Trees over the property line may be trimmed back to the property line.

Citizens that observe trees close to power lines should contact Manitowoc Public Utilities for trimming, whether they are private or city trees at (920) 683-4600.

Stumps from Terrace Trees
Regarding stump removal, the City of Manitowoc Municipal Code 8.190(14) "Removal of Trees & Stumps" states: "Trees cut down in public areas shall be removed and the root stump grubbed out, or ground out, to a depth of at least nine inches below grade measured in a straight line. If no sidewalk exists, the grade of grubbing should be one-third inch per foot from a point nine inches below the curb. All brush and debris must be removed from the public areas by the property owner or their agent. All holes shall be filled to normal grade level with topsoil or native soil as soon as practical."

Funds are currently not available for stump removals, unless they are associated with a large-scale City project, such as road re-construction, which often has different funding sources. If a property owner wishes to remove a stump, they may do so. They are not obligated to remove the stump, although they may want to hire a contractor to remove the stump or consider doing the work themselves.

Whether the property owner or the contractor remove the stump, it is their responsibility to contact Digger's Hotline at 1-800-242-5811 at least three working days before digging, as required by law, in order to have all of the utilities marked. Only qualified personnel should perform the stump removal. They will be responsible for paying for any repairs made to the damaged utility lines. The property owner is responsible for hauling away the cuttings from the stump itself and for restoration of the terrace following the removal of the stump.


Wood for Sale
Annual Arbor Day Celebration

Permits and Policies

Wood/Brush Cutting and Harvesting on City Parkland

Cutting wood or brush on City property is prohibited unless authorized by the Operations Manager for the City of Manitowoc or his/her designee. Volunteers must discuss project details and the extent of work to be done prior to cutting or removing any wood or brush. A completed Wood/Brush Cutting and Harvesting Indemnity Agreement MUST be on file with the City of Manitowoc Parks Division. For information, e-mail or call the Parks Office at 920-686-3580 weekdays from 7 AM to 4 PM.

Wood/Brush Cutting and Harvesting Indemnity Agreement

Arbor Day 2015
Arbor Day 2015