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Forestry Services

Forestry Services is responsible for the design, planning, planting, and management of approximately 200,000 street trees, boulevards, landscapes, green spaces, and beautification projects within the City of Milwaukee.

The primary goal is to efficiently manage the urban landscape to provide a better quality of life for Milwaukee's citizens and visitors. This effort seeks to maximize the environmental and psychological benefits of the urban forest, while enhancing both landscape and property values.  Forestry manages vegetation on 121.8 miles of boulevards, 57 totlots, 59 greenspaces, 20 designated municipal properties, and 20 Downtown above-ground planters. We also serve as a resource to other agencies in greenspace design, implementation and maintenance.

Maple Tar Spot

You may have noticed the leaves on your maple falling early this year. The likely cause is a fungus called maple tar spot, easily identified by black and yellow spots on the leaves. This fungus is ubiquitous and will develop in any year when weather conditions are favorable (cool wet spring). In most years, trees closest to the lake experience the highest incidence of disease due to the more humid cool spring weather conditions near the lake. This year it’s pretty much city wide.  The impact on the tree is only cosmetic and no treatment is required.

The leaves can be safely mulched into your lawn or bagged and brought to a Drop Off Center.


Kilbourn Avenue Perennials

Important Information Concerning Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Beetle

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was confirmed to be in Milwaukee in 2012.  It is an invasive wood boring beetle that can kill ash trees within 2-4 years.  The Forestry Division has been fighting this deadly pest with regular inoculations of City trees. To help Milwaukee residents prepare to fight an EAB infestation of their private property ash trees, the Forestry Division has mapped more than 15,000 parcels with ash trees at risk for EAB.  City residents are encouraged to find their property and neighborhood on this map to determine if ash trees live nearby.  This site also has information on what to do to help combat EAB in your private-property trees.


City of Milwaukee Forestry Services is part of:
Department of Public Works Operations Division
841 N. Broadway Rm. 620
Milwaukee, WI 53202


Green Milwaukee

Greening Milwaukee is a non-profit organization dedicated to, well, doing just that! Making Milwaukee greener by showing people how easy it is to plant trees and how planting trees can have many positive effects- both on people and the environment. And they'll be happy to give you a tree - for free!



Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit conservation and education organization with a million members, donors and partners worldwide. They offer affordable trees and seedlings as well as planting and care guides and free landscape guides.