Trimming and Brushing

  1. Remove all trees and brush that:
    1. Grow under bridge structures
    2. Obstruct vision
    3. Interfere with water flow in ditches
    4. Grow around culvert ends, right-of-way posts, signs, and guard rails
    5. Cause undesirable snow drifting or inhibit snow removal
  2. On steep slopes remove soft-wood trees such as poplar, willow, silver (soft) maple, and box elder.
  3. Dense tree stand such as box elder, black locust, poplar, etc. should be trimmed to a few individual trees.
  4. Multiple-stemmed trees should be pruned to a single main stem or trunk.
  5. Outside of or on right-of-way do not trim or remove trees or shrubs without concurrence of property owner and permission of area supervisor.
  6. Trimming trees that interfere with utility lines is the responsibility of the utility companies, but should be monitored to prevent over-trimming or over-cutting.
  7. In all cases, any perceived need to clear significant areas of brush or trees must be discussed with and authorized by the area supervisor.
  8. Cut stumps as close to ground level as possible and consider non-chemical decay treatment.
  9. Attempt to notify adjacent property owners in advance of tree or brush removal operations.


  1. Do not remove the following trees unless they create a safety hazard:
    • Apple
    • Evergreen
    • Walnut
    • Maple other than silver
    • Hickory
    • Oak
    • Elm
    • Other hardwoods

  2. Usually remove the following trees, but NOT if they are the only trees in the area and they do not create a safety hazard:
    • Aspen
    • Black cherry
    • Black locust
    • Box elder
    • Cottonwood
    • Diseased elm
    • Mulberry
    • Silver maple
    • Willow


  1. Do not remove the following shrubs unless they create a safety hazard or interfere with water flow:
    • Choke cherry
    • Elderberry
    • Grey dogwood
    • Gooseberry
    • Hawthorn
    • Hazelnut
    • Plum
    • Rose
    • Sumac

  2. Remove the following shrubs when found growing with desirable plants:
    • Buckthorn
    • Honeysuckle

This policy was adopted by the Dane County Transportation Committee at its meeting on June 11, 1990.