Shade Tree Program Bonding Grants, 2023-2027

residential boulevard lined with trees

Eligible applicants

All local units of government in Minnesota, including cities, counties, regional authorities, joint powers boards, towns, and tribal. Parks and recreation boards in cities of the first class are also eligible to apply.

Priority will be given to:

  • Projects removing and replacing ash trees that pose significant public safety concerns
  • Projects that benefit underserved populations and areas of concern for environmental justice
  • Communities with populations less than 20,000.

Eligible activities:

  • Removal and replanting of shade trees on public or tribal land to provide environmental benefits
  • Replacement of trees on public or tribal land lost to forest pests, disease, or storm
  • Tree planting on public or tribal land to establish a more diverse community forest better able to withstand disease and forest pests

Any tree planted with this grant must be a climate-adapted species to Minnesota.

Project timeline

  • Application Available: July 31, 2023
  • Application Deadline: October 2, 2023
  • Grantees will be notified: November 6, 2023

How to apply

  1. Thoroughly read through the Request for Applications
  2. Download and complete the Application
  3. Download and fill out the Attachment A Budget Form. Match is not required for this grant.
  4. Download and fill out the Attachment B 3-Year Tree Maintenance Plan
  5. Provide a Species and Stock List from which trees will be planted - the applicant must create their own list using the RFA guidelines.

Please reach out if you need help or have questions! [email protected]

After reading through the Request for Applications, complete all parts of the application found above. Email completed application to [email protected] (only emailed applications will be accepted). Applications must be received by October 2, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to be considered eligible for funding.

Informational webinar

We hosted a webinar titled Historic grant funding to assist in urban and community forest management, where we discussed the current status of EAB across Minnesota, the Tree Inspector Program, ISA Certified Arborist credentialing and the urban community forestry grants.

Slides from our presenters:


Please submit additional questions to [email protected] by Sep 22, 2023. Answers to frequently asked questions will be posted weekly.


The grant application project timeline asks for "specific dates". Is this weekly breakdown, monthly breakdown, quarterly? I appreciate any guidance you can provide.

We recommend it to be as detailed as it makes sense but also in what way you’ll actually be able to adhere to. Given most of the work is outdoors, weekly may not make sense as you may have to adjust based on the weather. Often, we see month/year (ex. January 2024 – 100 ash removed) or months/year (ex. January-March 2024 – 100 ash removed).

Either of these versions help us understand your anticipated workload over the life of the project.

Can a business or volunteer fill the role of the professional with tree care credentials?

Yes, if you are contracting services or you have a volunteer with credentials who will be involved, you can list them in your application. We recommend stating who they are, what specific credentials they have, and what role they will serve within your project or what portion of the project they will be responsible for.

Is there an example of a declaration that we can view?
Yes, please email [email protected].
Can you help us put together a list of species that are appropriate to plant in our community?
Yes! Reach out to [email protected] for assistance, or contact your local DNR forester.
What if the projected funds end up not getting completely used? What if costs end up being a little more than initially planned?
We expect that all funds requested are utilized and we expect that although costs may fluctuate, that you are close in anticipating costs to meet accomplishments listed in your application.

Eligible applicants

Are Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) eligible to apply?
Not for these bonding funds. We encourage SWCDs to check out ReLeaf funding.
Are schools eligible to apply?
Not for these bonding funds. We encourage public and charter schools to check out ReLeaf funding.
My community has received a grant from you before, is our community still eligible to apply?
Absolutely! We encourage previous applicants and grantees to apply.

Eligible activities

Will our contractors be required to pay the prevailing wage?
Yes, a prevailing wage is required. The prevailing wage is based on the work activity, not on the grant, so if the activity has a prevailing wage, it is required. Information on prevailing wage can be found on the Prevailing wage: Highway and heavy rate webpage.
Understanding that if 1 tree is removed, 1 tree needs to be planted. Does it need to be replaced in the same spot or area? Or can we replace it anywhere?
With the Shade Tree Bonding grant, it doesn’t need to be in the exact spot, but it should be relatively close. Bonding is a grant focused on building infrastructure, in this case, trees, but the only reason demolition, e.g., tree removal, is fundable is to build new infrastructure, which is why it should be relatively close to where the removal took place.


My question is- If we submit the Declaration paperwork for the park properties that the work was done on as part of the 2021 Shade Tree Grant Application, will we have to go through the Declaration process again if we were to be selected as a grant recipient again this year?
Yes, unfortunately, you would need to conduct another declaration for the space.
Does 'restricted property' for the grant mean that the trees must be in the ground for at least 37.5 years? If a tree dies or if there is a road project that removes a tree, does that mean that it can be replaced and still fit within the declaration?
Yes, the property you certify or declare is then restricted for the purpose of trees for 37.5 years. You would not be able to expand the road without approval from Minnesota Management and Budget. This approval is uncommon and often requires the owner to sell the property to another entity after appraisal for market value.

Review additional information on the Shade grants, designed to answer common questions.

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