115 boulevard trees along Smith Ave, Dodd Rd, and Annapolis St. will be removed in early to mid-March 2018 as part of the Hwy 149 High Bridge project. View the maps for tree removal related to the Hwy 149 High Bridge project.
MnDOT will be working closely with the contractor during the sidewalk reconstruction portion of the project to save a number of healthy trees. Contractors will be using a front-end loader to dig eight inches deep when removing the sidewalks. This is ultimately where some trees could get damaged.
MnDOT will use a process that cuts the impacted tree roots and uses a regulator to stop future root growth. Trees that go through this process may still not survive and will need to be monitored. This process exceeds normal practices and has been implemented as a result of public input.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has seasonal restrictions on tree cutting for the protection of bats. The agency requires that all tree removals are completed each year before March 31. This deadline helps reduce the impact to seasonal bat habitat patterns.
Tree Removal Maps
The following map shows the location of each individual tree within the project area and highlights the primary reason for why it is being removed.
Field conditions can change and it is possible that additional trees will be removed or saved
Click on each map for a larger PDF version
MnDOT will be replanting one new tree in 2019 for every one tree removed in 2018. The replanting plan is currently being developed and will include opportunities for public input and influence.
A mix of tree types will be selected for each block currently scheduled to receive replacement trees. MnDOT and the city of St. Paul identified tree replacement options for this project based upon the trees’ attributes and physical character, as well as the size of the boulevard where the replacement trees will be planted.
Attributes and physical character
MnDOT and the city of St. Paul selected tree options that:
Add diversity to the urban forest—species diversity helps reduce the losses that may occur from a future insect or disease infestation
Are able to thrive in urban conditions (e.g., winter salt and snow plowing, urban pollution, compacted urban soils and narrow boulevards for root growth)
Provide habitat and/or food for pollinators, birds and other wildlife
Provide seasonal interest with spring flowers, summer fruit, vibrant fall color, bark texture and tree form
Can adapt to different climates—species that have growing ranges south of Minnesota, but also are hardy in Minnesota (e.g., Coffeetree, Frontier Elm, Hybrid Oaks)
Boulevards that are 3 feet wide or less will support smaller trees that will grow up to 30 feet in height. These trees must be planted at least 25-30 feet from other trees.
Boulevards that are 3 to 4 feet wide will support small- to medium-size trees, as well as columnar trees. These trees can grow up to 30-60 feet in height and must be planted 25-40 feet from other trees.
Boulevards that are more than 4 feet wide will support small-medium and large-sized trees, as well as columnar trees. These trees can grow taller than 50 feet in height and must be planted 35 feet from other trees
Note:Property owners will NOT be assessed for the resurfacing project or the tree replanting project.
Future city project
The city of St. Paul is planning to lead a potential fiber-optic project along Smith Ave. No trees will be removed as part of the project. This would be a separate project from MnDOT's Hwy 149 High Bridge resurfacing and tree replanting projects.
Impact on tree replanting
Due to the potential for future impacts—if fiber is installed—MnDOT and the city of St. Paul will coordinate efforts and note locations where fiber could be installed. A location preference associated with the fiber-optic project could influence MnDOT's replanting project by limiting the types of trees that could be planted at a specific location during the 2019 replanting project. For example, in locations where fiber may be installed, trees that have a less extensive root system would be preferred. This will help avoid the new trees from being damaged in the future.