Plant a Tree Near Your Property Easement

What is an easement?

An easement is an area where the property owner has restrictions on what they can do. They are a grant of one or more property rights by the property owner (e.g., your yard) for use by another entity (e.g., the City of Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Xcel Energy.). The recipient of the easement (such as the City of Mendota Heights) has the right to use the land in the easement for a specific purpose. The homeowner still owns and maintains the easement but cannot use the land in a manner that interferes with the rights granted under the easement. 

Utility easements can run along the front, back, and side of a property. Because land in an easement can be disturbed during road reconstruction, or during utility work, it is not advised to plant trees within this land area as they may need to be removed, or roots may be disturbed during work in the easement. For front yards in Mendota Heights, a typical easement can range from 10-15 feet from the street curb or road edge. Upon request, the City of Mendota Heights will let you know how far a city easement extends into your yard.

Thank you to the city of Rosemount for the image.

Creating A Homegrown Shade Tree Canopy: Plant Trees Close To The Easement Line On YOUR Side Of The Property’s Easement.
By planting canopy trees near a front yard easement line (or, near back or sideyard easements if near heat emitting surfaces), we can begin to create a cooling homegrown roadside tree canopy. According to the Environmental Control Agency, (Using Trees and Vegetation to Reduce Heat Islands): “Trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. Shaded surfaces, for example, may be 20–45°F (11–25°C) cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials.Evapotranspiration, alone or in combination with shading, can help reduce peak summer temperatures by 2–9°F.”