Shade Tree Ordinance - Dutch Elm Disease

The City of Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department values the trees in our community. Trees provide many benefits, including cleaning our air, providing shade, and reducing building energy costs. In order to ensure the health of our urban forest, the Parks and Recreation Department regularly inspects trees for Dutch elm disease. The Park and Recreation Department does have an Arborist on staff – and our Arborist, who is also a Certified Tree Inspector, has been in the community identifying dutch elm diseased trees.  Conducting inspections during the growing season throughout the community is necessary to detect diseased elms early enough to reduce the spread of the disease.  Once the Tree Inspector identifies the diseased tree, property owners are notified and it is the responsibility of the property owners to remove or contract the removal of the diseased tree(s) within 20 days of notification.   Just as important as the removal, is the proper disposal to eliminate the  breeding site for elm bark beetles. 

Please contact the Parks Department with any questions regarding Dutch Elm Disease at 333-1861


When is a Great Time to Plant Trees?
Early springtime.   It can sometimes bring cool, blustery weather, reminding us of the old saying:  If you are uncomfortable planting, it means it is the best of times for the tree.  This, of course, is because the drier, more stressful days of the season (for trees!) is still ahead.   Visit one of the many local nurseries to buy trees.  Explore to find more information about:
  • Tree characteristics by species, and other information that will help you select the right trees for your purpose and planting sites - or confirm your choice.
  • An updated hardiness zone map.
  • Benefits of trees and how to quantify them.

Summer Tree Planting, Trimming and Removal
On average the parks crew with much appreciated assistance from the street department removes 70 dead or diseased trees annually.  We also work with the community on tree planting projects. 
If you would like to plant a tree in your boulevard, please complete the Permit and submit to the City Parks Department.  List of approved boulevard trees.