Iowa's Roadside Trees and Brush

Iowa's Roadside Trees and Brush thompsbb

Iowa’s noxious weed list includes a few woody species and several non-listed trees and shrubs have become troublesome in non-agricultural land throughout the state. In roadsides, all trees and brush are potential safety hazards. The primary goal of county roadside tree and brush control is to provide safe roads for the traveling public. Safety goals include:

  • Provide motorists unobstructed lines of sight.
  • Ensure visibility of traffic control and warning signs.
  • Eliminate immovable objects.
  • Alleviate substantial and chronic drifting of snow.
  • Reduce shade where it prolongs ice on the road.

Most roadside tree and brush control is accomplished by mechanical or chemical means. A correctly timed prescribed burn can also control brush.

Refer to "Tree and Brush Control for County Road Right-of-Way," a 2002 Iowa Highway Research Board/UNI-IRVM publication, for complete brush control information. Herbicide recommendations from that publication — with updates  — are shown in the appendix.