Please treat Madison's ash trees under power lines! Don't remove them!

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Please treat Madison's ash trees under power lines! Don't remove them!

This petition had 789 supporters
N A started this petition to Mayor Soglin and

The above picture was taken of the South 1000 block of Williamson Street. It used to be lined of trees. Last year, it was clearcut.

Madison's Isthmus is one of the most beautiful places in the city, and the tree canopies lining our streets are part of what makes it so beautiful.

While it is true that the Emerald Ash Borer is in Madison, most of Madison’s trees are not going to be cut down because of it. Out of 22,000 ash trees lining our streets, the city is treating roughly 12,500 of them for the EAB infestation. Trees whose trunk diameter exceeds 10” are eligible for the treatment and will be treated. That leaves 9,500 trees which are being cut down for another reason.

All trees which fall under power lines in Madison will be cut down. According Dean Kahl of City Forestry, “It was decided that trees under power lines would not be treated (for EAB) because they will always have less than full canopies.“ Mayor Soglin confirmed that because these trees are not aesthetically perfect due to trimming around power lines, they will all be removed.

Milwaukee's plan is not nearly as aggressive as Madison's. According to an Isthmus article:

  • "To prepare, Milwaukee did a comprehensive canopy assessment in 2008 that identified 587,000 ash trees on public and private property, forestry services manager David Sivyer said. Then, the city did outreach to private property owners, and to raise awareness, used a federal grant and lottery to provide one free treatment or removal and replacement to about 300 private property owners."
  • "Of Milwaukee’s 33,000 street ash trees, the city is treating 28,000. The other 5,000 may be removed and replaced over five or six years, Sivyer said. Milwaukee’s threshold for treatment is 8 inches or less in diameter, and those amid power lines aren’t necessarily cut, at least not right away."

Here is a map of the near east side removals. This is just a snapshot of one area of the city, yet is reflective of the entire city.

Over the last 2 years, the city has removed hundreds of trees. This spring, the same thing is scheduled to happen to thousands more, all marked with a yellow dot.  Many of these trees are over half a century old & some are older whose trunks exceed 3 feet in diameter. 

While the city has claimed they will replant trees, we will never have a true canopy again. The city's program "Right tree, right place" will entail the planting of "Q-tip" trees under power lines- short trees that will never reach the power lines. Once our canopy disappears, it will never be replaced.  


  • Power lines will be more visible without the canopy to conceal them
  • Homeowners will lose value on their homes when whole blocks are cut. No one wants to buy a house on a block without trees. Trees= charm
  • Homeowners will pay more for heating in the winter (trees break wind patterns) and cooling in the summer (no shade) due to absent canopies
  • New planted saplings will take 40 yrs to reach the size of existing trees if they survive our harsh winters
  • Replanted trees will be "Q-tip" trees, short and bushy. We will never again have a canopy.
  • Aesthetic impact/ tourism impact
  • Madison will lose it’s picturesque charm if we prioritize power lines over trees
  • Impoverished areas become more visible
  • Our air quality will diminish. 9,500 trees filters out a lot of pollution
  • Birds' and other animals' habitats will be threatened


The next time you are out on a walk, look around you for that yellow dot and look up. You will see that the trees with the yellow dots fall under power lines.  YELLOW DOTS= FUTURE STUMPS

Some of the blocks to be clear-cut:

·         Williamson Street: S. 1200 & 1300 blocks (Co-op and Lazy Jane’s)

·         South Few: 300, 400, & 500 blocks

·         Jenifer St: 800, 900, 1000, 1200, & 1300 blocks

·         Spaight: 800, 900 & 1200 blocks

·         East Gorham: 100, 1000, &  S. 1100 blocks

·         East Dayton: N. 800, N. 900, N. 1000, S. 1100, 1300 blocks

·         East Mifflin: N. 1100, 1200, 1300

·         And Johnson Street (post construction removals): 100, 200, S. 600, N. 700, S. 800, S. 1000, 1200 

·         THIS IS ONLY A FRACTION OF THE TOTAL TREES TO BE REMOVED. The map is by no means comprehensive. In addition, some trees haven't been marked yet with the yellow dot.

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Please take a moment to sign and spread the petition for the sake of our beautiful city. Your single signature has a 20 fold impact! 20 petition letters are generated to the city council members, Mayor Soglin, and Dean Kahl! It takes less than 30 seconds to sign.

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This petition had 789 supporters

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