Photo by Nick Rosenmeier


The objective of our forestry program is to promote and maintain heathy trees as part of the overall urban forest.  It has been proven that a heathy urban forest increases quality of life, protects infrastructure, and adds value to the city as a whole.  The Department of Public Works takes many steps to help meet this objective.  Our primary goal is to ensure public safety.  To this end the department responds to citizen concerns and conducts removal of hazardous trees as needed.  Furthermore, DPW performs maintenance pruning which addresses each tree over a 5-7 year cycle.  This is done to promote proper structure, growth and to protect the trees from vehicle damage, remove dead material, and improve visibility of intersections and signs.  Last, but not least, we plant trees to replace those that are removed and fill available open spaces as the City has 158 planting sites available.  The end goal is to create a diverse and healthy tree population. 

In 2014 the City Of Tomahawk, with help of a state grant, hired a consultant to inventory all street trees as well as those in Sara and Memorial Parks.  This was done to help understand what trees the city currently has and how to best manage them.  The inventory results found the City of Tomahawk has approximately 2500 trees on city property which we are responsible for maintaining.  This number does not include Bradley Park…..that’s lot of trees!  For anyone interested in a complete inventory please look at the PDF provided on this site.  However, a quick rundown goes as follows.  Of the 2500 trees inventoried 26% are maple, 13% ash, 12% pine, 8.5% crabapple, and 8.5% oak.  Given the fact that any given species should only make up 10% of the overall population these tree species are at or are overrepresented in Tomahawk.  Going forward we will be planting alternative species as we remove trees to try to achieve a healthier balance.  Diversity of tree species is of utmost importance as more and more new tree diseases/insects are making their way to our region. 

In conclusion, our community is on the right track in protecting its investment in our urban forest.  Our city council has set aside money in the budget for the forestry program which is used to maintain equipment and purchase trees for replanting.  Furthermore, several years back our council instituted a tree board to help promote and plan for the future of our urban forest.  If and when devastating tree infestations such as EAB or oak wilt do occur, the tree board is in place to help enact a plan in coordination with the Department of Public Works.  It should also be noted that the City of Tomahawk has been awarded the recognition of Tree City USA for over 30 years now!   All these facts combined speaks volumes to the commitment that the city council, the DPW, and the community as a whole has made to the tree population within our city.

Anyone interested in more information pertaining to tree care, the city tree inventory, tree   diseases/insects, and more please follow the links available on this site.  For more information or to report a problem please call the city garage at (715) 453-3654.