Morris Tree Board

The Morris Tree Board advises the City Council on the care, preservation, pruning, planting, and removal of trees and shrubs in public areas. It also serves as an advocate for the urban forest by recommending rules and policies to protect and enhance the urban forest, encouraging tree planting on private property by providing information on the value of and proper planting of trees, assisting the City Forester in promoting appreciation of trees and the urban forest, and recognizing Arbor Day. Additionally, it advises on the city’s budget for tree planting and tree care. The Tree Board was responsible for the creation of the city’s current urban forest management plan, which was adopted by the City Council in September 2021.

The Tree Board is composed of five members appointed by the City Council. The Tree Board meets the third Wednesday of every month in the city council chambers in the community center  at 4:30 PM. Call City Hall (320-589-3141) for confirmation of meeting time, date, or location if needed. Tree Board meetings are open to the public.

Board Members

Sue Granger


Two – Year Term / Ending 12/31/2024

Jay Fier

Board Member

Two – Year Term / Ending 12/31/2024

Sally Finzel

Board Member

Two – Year Term / Ending 12/31/2024

Tom Holm

Vice Chair

Two – Year Term / Ending 12/31/2025

Margaret Kuchenreuther

Board Member

Two – Year Term / Ending 12/31/2025

Tree Board Initiatives

Morris Tree Stewards

Minnesota Tree Stewards is a community-based program designed to increase the number of trained volunteers who can help cities with their community forestry programs. Morris Tree Stewards are trained in a one-day session held in Morris. Topics include best planting practices, simple pruning, mulching, stem protection, monitoring tree health, etc. Training will be provided.

Tree Steward volunteers will occasionally help the city of Morris and the Morris Tree Board with:

  • planting trees in parks and on boulevards
  • caring for newly planted trees
  • installing mulch and trunk guards
  • simple pruning
  • monitoring tree health
  • and more

For more information, contact Russ Breeggemann, the City Forester (320-589-1276).


Tree Planting Events

The Tree Board sponsors 1-2 tree planting events per year. An arbor month planting takes place in May and some years may have an additional fall planting event. Volunteers of any age are welcome and encouraged to attend. No signup is required, just show up on the day of the planting to participate!

For information about upcoming planting events, call City Hall.

Tree City USA

The Tree City USA program is a nationwide effort to recognize cities committed to growing their tree canopy and to provide the framework needed to do so. Morris has been a certified Tree City for (over) 19 years. In order to be recognized as a Tree City, a community must have a Tree Board, have a community tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrate Arbor Day.

Tree Board Resources

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that is native to Asia. It was found in Minnesota in 2009 and has been spreading across the state ever since. EAB attacks ash trees. Minnesota is home to one of the highest concentrations of ash trees in the USA and Morris’ tree canopy is thought to be at least 30% ash. Trees are killed after about 2-4 years of infestation by the larvae tunneling underneath the bark to feed. When ash trees die to EAB, they become extremely brittle and pose a danger due to breaking and falling branches. 

It is not a matter of if EAB comes to Morris, but when. Adult beetles usually only move about half a mile to a mile every year, but people often unknowingly spread it hundreds of miles away by moving firewood or other wood infested with EAB. Help slow the spread by never moving firewood. Buy local instead! 

Another way you can help Morris become more resilient against EAB is to plant non-ash trees. A more diverse canopy will help lessen the impact of species-specific problems such as EAB. Make sure trees are watered and protect them from being damaged by mowers and other yard equipment. Ensuring trees survive to maturity and live a long time is important for maximizing their benefits.

Symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation: 

  • Woodpecker damage (dime-quarter sized light-colored holes, blonding of bark)
  • Loose, splitting bark
  • S-shaped, serpentine larval feeding galleries underneath the bark.
  • Canopy dieback/crown decline (can be caused by other problems)
  • Shoots/suckers growing from base of tree (sign of stress, not EAB-specific)

Suspect your ash tree has EAB? Contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Arrest the Pest program by email at or by phone at 1-888-545-6684. You can also use their online reporting form or report it using the Great Lakes Early Detection Network app.

Learn more:

Benefits of our Community Canopy

Our community canopy provides many benefits to our city. Here are just a few:


  • In Minnesota, trees placed strategically around a home (particularly on the west side) can cut air conditioning bills by almost 25%!
  • Trees acting as windbreaks can reduce energy use on winter heating by 20%. 
  • Trees increase property value. Homes with trees sell faster and are worth 5-15% more than treeless homes.
  • Trees create jobs in forestry
  • Shade on streets increases the lifespan of asphalt, reducing the deterioration of paved road surfaces by 40-60%.


  • Trees provide oxygen and filter out air pollutants.
  • Trees provide wildlife habitat. One bur oak, for example, can attract more than 500 species of larval insects, allowing it to support numerous species of birds.
  • Trees reduce urban heat islands – streets shaded by trees can be 6-10° cooler.
  • Neighborhoods with trees average 2.9° cooler than un-forested urban areas.
  • Trees intercept rainwater, relieving stress on storm water systems and reducing flooding.
  • Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.


  • Trees provide privacy and reduce noise pollution up to 40%.
  • People get outdoors more when there is shade and green space.
  • More people outside leads to more interaction between people and a stronger sense of community.
  • Trees provide beauty and cooling shade.


  • Trees help reduce skin cancer, which can be caused by sun exposure, by reflecting and absorbing the sun’s energy.
  • Exposure to green spaces can help improve concentration and mental health.
  • The cooling effect trees have on the air and on the surfaces they shade helps reduce heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
  • The edible foods that some trees provide us help provide crucial nutrition.

Larger, fully grown trees provide more environmental benefits. This is one reason why continuing to plant new trees needs to be paired with preserving the trees we have. Planting and caring for trees is an easy way to make our community healthier and more resilient.

Additional Resources:


Rebecca Schrupp

City Manager

610 Oregon Avenue
Morris, MN 56267


Sue Granger

Tree Board Chair



More Information


Minutes, Agendas, etc.


Last Page Update: March 2024