Tree Preservation District

General Information

Saint Paul south of Lower Afton Road is designated as a Tree Preservation District. The intent of this district is to preserve the natural, wooded character of the area by ensuring that development is done in a way that minimizes the loss of existing trees and, in some cases, requiring planting replacement trees. A Tree Preservation Plan must be submitted and approved before the City will approve any application for a grading permit, lot split, plat, or site plan (unless the applicant can demonstrate that there are no existing trees within the limits of disturbance) or a building permit that requires the removal of a tree 12" in diameter or larger.

Application Requirements

You must submit an application that includes the following:

Inspections & Fees

City staff will inspect the site at least three times:

  • During the plan review process
  • Prior to construction
  • After completion of the project

Fees: $273.00

Expiration/Renewal

Replacement trees must be planted within 12 months after the removal of the original trees.

Code Requirements

See Chapter 67.200. Development in the Tree Preservation District should retain the maximum number of trees possible.

Tree Preservation Plan must include:

  • The location, size and species of all existing trees larger than 6" in diameter located in within the area of disturbance.
  • The location of all existing and proposed buildings, grades, roads, parking, driveways sidewalks and easements.
  • The location of all trees that will be preserved. All tree drip lines must be shown.
  • A description of how trees will be protected before and during construction.
  • The location of trees to be removed, replacement trees and areas proposed for additional landscaping, including, but not limited to, the tree name; the quantity of each species; size of tree; and a planting detail.

The Tree Preservation Plan must be certified by Minnesota-registered land surveyor, landscape architect or forester. Tree protection measures must be in place prior to any construction or grading.

Trees over 12" in diameter removed for development or reasonably anticipated to be lost due to development must be replaced as follows:

  • Individual trees of at least twelve inches but less than 18" in diameter shall be replaced on the basis of one replacement tree for every one tree removed
  • Individual trees of at least eighteen inches but less than 24" in diameter shall be replaced on the basis of two replacement trees for every one tree removed
  • Individual trees 24" in diameter or larger shall be replaced on the basis of three replacement trees for every one tree removed
  • Deciduous replacement trees of nursery stock shall be at least two caliper inches and of a species similar to the tree(s) lost or removed. Coniferous replacement trees shall be at least 6' in height and of species similar to the tree(s) lost or removed.
  • Replacement is not required for the removal of trees in areas to be occupied by buildings, private streets, driveways, areas required for parking or within a distance of 15' of a building foundation

If the number of replacement trees to be planted exceeds the number of trees that can be accommodated practically on-site, as determined by the superintendent of parks, off-site planting may occur at locations to be determined by the applicant and the superintendent of parks, or a fee in lieu of off-site planting may be required.

Before the tree preservation plan is approved, the applicant shall file a performance bond, letter of credit, cash or escrow deposit equal to 125% of the value of each replacement tree shown on the tree preservation plan. This will be released to the applicant once the trees have been planted and City staff has inspected the site and verified that the planting was done according to the approved plan.