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The City of Detroit Lakes has an active forestry program with an Arbor Day celebration held at the end of April. The City has received the Tree City U.S.A. award for over two decades.

The Dutch Elm Disease control program is on-going with a City tree inspector making a survey of the City for Dutch Elm Disease. The prompt removal and sanitation of diseased elm trees has greatly reduced the spread of the disease in our community. Please visit to learn more about Dutch Elm Disease. Trees located on private property are the responsibility of the property owner for removal and disposal. Boulevard trees are maintained by the City of Detroit Lakes.

The emerald ash borer is an ash tree destroying insect. Although the insect has not reached our area, it is in southern MN. Due to the discovery of EAB and to slow its spread, the MN Dept of Agriculture has quarantined Hennepin, Houston, Ramsey and Winona counties. To learn more about the emerald ash borer visit

Recommended planting space for trees from overhead utility lines:
Large trees (over 70 ft) Oak, Linden/Basswood, Hackberry 30 feet
Medium trees (30-70 ft) Maple, Ohio Buckeye, Ironwood 20 feet
Small trees (to 25 ft) Crabapple, Japanese Tree Lilac 15 feet

Detroit Lakes City Tree Guidelines
• Trees/branches must not obstruct the view of traffic signs
• Minimum distance from corner is 25 feet
• Minimum distance from city underground utility lines is 2-1/2 feet
• Minimum distance from connection of service lines to main is 6 feet
• Minimum distance from fire hydrant is 10 feet
• Minimum distance from street signs is 15 feet.

Call before you dig: Underground Utility Locating
Gopher One Call Center 1-800-252-1165

For further information on trees contact the Detroit Lakes Public Works Department or the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry at (218) 846-8363.