Back-to-Back Snowstorms May Cause Additional Damage to Trees

Published on April 19, 2021

Forestry crews in a large truck trimming tree limbs damaged by heavy spring snow

With the prediction of more heavy wet snow today closely following Friday’s storm, trees may be more prone to damage and limbs that may have partially failed, could fail completely due to the additional weight. Denver Parks & Recreation is reminding residents to be cautious and always be mindful of what is over head when removing snow and managing fallen trees and branches. Property owners are responsible for downed trees and branches on their private property and within the adjacent public right-of-way.


Tips for removing snow from trees:

  • Check to make sure the tree is safe and clear of all utility lines prior to removing snow; DO NOT attempt to shake snow off a tree if a utility line is going through its branches or is within contact distance
  • If the tree is clear of utility lines, use a broom to remove as much snow as possible from branches by brushing off or gently shaking. Avoid large, rapid movement as this could cause the limb to break.
  • DO NOT attempt to climb tree or use a ladder to remove snow


Downed trees and branches:

  • If emergency removal of a fallen tree or tree branch is needed to clear a street, call 311 to report the specific address of the location. The city will evaluate and prioritize the removal of the obstruction, and when necessary, the city will remove the encumbrance, and the cost of the work will be billed to the responsible property owner.  
  • Property owners are responsible for pruning and cleaning up debris from trees located on private property and within the public right of way adjacent to their property. DO NOT relocate branches to parkways or other public areas.  
  • Residents can visit for a list of licensed and insured tree care contractors


Disposal of Tree Branches 

  • Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure collects a limited number of branches as part of its regular extra trash collection service to residents
  • Branches must be no larger than 4 inches in diameter, and they must be cut into lengths of 4 feet or less, bundled and tied, and weigh no more than 50 pounds 
  • Customers may set out up to 10 bundles of branches on their scheduled every-8-week extra trash collection
  • Denver residents can also drop off branches at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off center located near East Cherry Creek Drive South and South Quebec Street. Hours of operation can be found on the city’s website at


Downed Power Lines/Cables 

  • Stay clear of downed lines and report them immediately to Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-1999. If a downed power line is in contact with a tree or any object, stay away and call 911 immediately. 
  • Anyone who witnesses an emergency that requires an immediate response should always call 911