The Denver Parks & Recreation Forestry Office is the City agency responsible for trees in public parks, parkways and other public property. Denver’s street trees are under regulation of the City Forester, but their maintenance is a responsibility shared by adjacent property owners.
Permits are required prior to the removal or planting of any street trees. Permits can be requested by sending an email to email@example.com, with a description of the work to be done.
Trees beautify our neighborhoods, enhance property values (up to 10%!), shade our homes and help conserve energy.
In partnership with The Park People, the Denver Digs Trees program offers trees at a significant discount to Denver residents:
Don't miss this opportunity! Availability is limited and nurseries typically charge $80-$125 for trees.
Applications are due February 15! Tree pickup is April 16- location details will be sent to approved applicants.
For general questions about the condition of a public-right-of way tree, please contact Denver Forestry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*If you live on a designated Parkway, the Office of the City Forester will provide the necessary tree work for trees in the public right-of-way along the parkway but NOT on perpendicular streets. Adjacent property owners are not responsible for public right-of-way trees on the parkway but would need to address trees on other streets if they live on a corner or have an alley.
Unfortunately there are times when the safety of the public necessitates that the work be completed immediately and Denver Forestry cannot allow time for the property owner to find a licensed tree contractor.
When a tree or limb is blocking safe access to the street or right-of-way, Denver Forestry has an on-call contractor remove the limb or tree and bills the property owner for the work.
If a limb or tree is not interfering with the safe access of a street or right-of-way, the property owner may be given 24 hours to perform the work themselves or contract with a licensed tree contractor.
Should the property owner choose to allow the City to assist through an established on-call contractor, the cost of the work will be billed to the responsible property owner.
When performing any tree work yourself, always check for utility wires and assume they are live!
For residents managing smaller limbs on their own, Solid Waste Management provides the following options for disposal and recycling:
Option 1: Disposal
Trash cart and manual service customers:
Dumpster Service Customers:
Option 2: Recycling
Residents wishing to recycle their branches or to remove them from their property sooner may bring their branches to the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-Off Center located at Quebec and Cherry Creek Drive South:
Tuesday – Friday, 11:00AM - 5:30PM
Saturdays, 9:00AM – 3:00PM
Branches may not be left at other times.
Public Works, Solid Waste Management may provide a tree debris drop-off site for residents only.
If a debris drop-off site is not available, property owners can dispose of tree debris at a landfill or hire a contractor to remove the debris.
The Denver Parks & Recreation Forestry Office is the city agency responsible for trees and shrubs in public parks, parkways and around government buildings.
Trees are an extremely valuable resource that provides attractive landscapes and much-needed shade from the high-altitude sun while cleaning the air and replenishing oxygen in the atmosphere.
By cooling homes and providing attractive landcapes, trees increase property values, create neighborhood character, improve water and air quality, and reduce temperatures through shading.
Denver is one of the only U.S. cities with a designated City Forester.Through planting promotion programs and regulation, Denver’s broad tree canopy thrives.
Denver’s publicly owned street trees are under regulation of the City Forester, but their maintenance responsibility is shared across the city by adjacent landowners. The Office of the City Forester is responsible for:
It is important to remember that permits are required prior to the removal or planting of any street trees. You may request a permit by sending an email to email@example.com, including a description of the work to be done.
Metro Denver Urban Forest Assessment
In 2006 the City of Denver took an ambitious step towards more sustainable development by launching the Mile High Million(MHM) Tree Initiative. The MHM goal is to plant one million trees by 2025. Thus far 250,000 trees have been planted. There is growing recognition that trees provide long-term environmental, economic, and health benefits critical to vibrant and livable cities.
The recent confirmation of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) within the City of Boulder introduces a new tree pest to the metro-Denver urban forest that could impact 100’s of thousands of property owners across the Front Range of Colorado. EAB is the only currently known infestation in the state.
Denver Forestry is in the process of identifying significant ash trees within parks and public right-of-ways. For questions about ash trees on your property or in the adjacent right-of-way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denver alone has an estimated 330,000 ash trees at risk, and losing these trees will have adverse economic, environmental and social impacts on our community. Over the next decade EAB has the potential to destroy more of Denver’s urban forest than any other disease or pestilence in history.
State officials have established quarantine boundaries for Boulder County, and it is important to stress that this is currently the only known infestation in the state. The Colorado Department of Agriculture will be working to perform inspection and sampling surveys across the City of Boulder in an effort to determine the extent of the infestation.
Since the announcement of EAB being found in Boulder, Denver’s Forestry staff members have completed several hundred miles of inspections and at this point no signs of EAB have been found within Denver.
With now over a decade of EAB experience in North America, it has become very clear that ash trees can be well protected through proper preventative pesticide treatments. The Colorado Department of Agriculture does not recommend property owners start EAB preventative treatments until an infestation is found within 5 miles of a property.
For further information, follow these links:
The sudden and deep freeze of November 2014 caused significant damage to many trees in the metro area. The Denver City Forester stresses diversity in replanting. As of 2015, the top recommended shade trees for Denver's climate include:
A State Champion Tree is the largest known tree of its species in the state. Rankings are based on three measurements: the circumference of the tree at 4 ½ feet, the height of the tree, and the tree’s average crown spread. Based on these measurements, each tree is given a point total to determine its state and national ranking. This scoring system has been developed by American Forests.
The Denver Champions and Notable Tree document lists each of the 126 State Champion Trees found within the City and County of Denver. In the document, the circumference has been changed to diameter and is listed in the column labeled DBH (diameter at breast height). The “T” referenced in the rank column denotes a tree that shares its status as a state champion with at least one other tree.
Thirty-two state champions are located at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and fourteen state champions and twenty-nine notable trees are located in Denver park and parkway system. Many other state champions, thirteen in all, reside at location schools and universities.
A number of the trees listed are on private property and are distinguished as such by the word private in the last column. Please respect the property owner’s right to privacy by viewing the tree from the street. Thank you very much for your cooperation. We hope you enjoy viewing these remarkable trees!
Download Denver Champions and Notable Trees information provided by the Colorado Tree Coalition.
In 2006 the Metropolitan Denver area took an ambitious step towards more sustainable development by launching the Mile High Million (MHM) Tree Initiative. The MHM goal is to plant one million trees by 2025. Thus far 250,000 trees have been planted. There is growing recognition that trees provide long-term environmental, economic, and health benefits critical to vibrant and livable cities. Read more about the Urban Forest Assessment here.
Final Report (3/2013)
Urban Forest Information by the Numbers (graphic)
Denver's urban forest shades 19.7% of Denver with 2.2 million trees and saved more than $6.7 million dollars in energy costs for cooling. Download the full facts sheet.
Visit the Volunteer Page, Forestry Volunteers, for more information on DPR volunteering.
The Inquiry Hub Biology project is a design research partnership between Denver Public Schools, Denver Parks and Recreation, the University of Colorado Boulder and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
The chief goal of the partnership is to support local science teachers in student-centered teaching. Current work includes an ecosystems unit where students investigate and build models of their urban ecosystem to answer the question, "What species of trees should we plant and where to maximize benefits to people, mitigate the impacts of human activity, and increase biodiversity in our urban ecosystem?" Throughout the unit, students develop and add to a research report that includes their proposal for planting trees that best meet the needs of Denver's urban ecosystem.
With the help of Denver Parks and Recreation, the unit culminates with students having the opportunity to plant actual trees around their school and neighborhood, trees chosen based on students' own research and proposals. Applying science in such a way provides students with an authentic, meaningful learning experience.
201 West Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 913-0787 (fax)