Forestry Program

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Louisville's Forestry Program cares for approximately 10,000 trees throughout the City. The goal of the program is to create a healthy, diverse and sustainable forest through sound arboriculture practices.

Services

Report Tree Issues

Residents can help identify trees that pose a safety risk by obscuring traffic signs or blocking sidewalks or trails. You can send an email to ReportTreeIssues@LouisvilleCO.gov or call 303.335.4733. Please include a description of the tree issue and its location. The City maintains all trees located in the public right-of-way (i.e. streets, parks, trails, golf course, open space, etc.). Private owners must handle any trees that are not located in the public right-of-way, but the City Forester can answer questions and advise residents about such issues on private property.

Information

Check out the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Homepage for general information regarding tree care, pruning, insect and disease problems and general gardening information.

If you are looking for information about a specific tree, our City Forester recommends this University of Connecticut web site.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit to plant, prune or remove a tree in the public right-of-way and how much will it cost? Free permits are required prior to pruning, planting or removing any plant material located in the public right-of-way (city property). To obtain a permit, please contact Chris Lichty, Supervisor of Forestry & Horticulture, 303.335.4733. The Utility Notification Center of Colorado (800-922-1987) should be contacted prior to planting the tree to locate underground utilities. This service is also free.
What types of trees cannot be planted in the public right-of-way? Cotton-bearing cottonwoods, boxelder, Siberian elm, Russian olive and silver maple may not be planted as public right-of-way trees. Ornamental trees and fruit trees with low branches such as crabapple, hawthorn and fruit trees should also be avoided. These trees are likely to cause sidewalk clearance problems in the future. All plantings require a permit and must be approved by the City Forester.
 

Who should I hire to work on my trees?

Hire a licensed and insured arborist certified with the International Society of Arboriculture. Certification means the individual has passed a test on proper tree care and continues his or her education yearly. The City Forester can provide you with a list of licensed and insured companies who employ certified arborists. When looking for an arborist to prune or remove trees, it is recommended that you get three quotes, check the arborist's city business license and insurance, and pay only after the work has been completed.  Tree companies may apply for a City Arborist License by completing the Arborist License Application.
Can the City Forester require my neighbor to prune or remove a tree that overhangs in my yard and causes a conflict with my roof, trees, etc.? Yes, but only if the City Forester deems the tree unsafe. Issues with privately owned trees must be worked out between the involved parties. The Forester can help mediate the situation and provide possible alternatives.
Is topping trees a recommended practice? No. Cutting the top of a tress weakens the tree and will allow insects and decay to attack. Some people top trees because they are afraid the tree will get big and fall on their house. In all probability, topped trees are more likely to fall than big trees. This happens because new branches that form after topping are weakly attached to the tree and highly susceptible to storm damage. Topping is also expensive as it stimulates growth that requires yearly pruning. Lastly, topping shortens the life of a tree by forcing it to use stored energy to replace leaves lost during topping.
Will the City pick up tree branches from my home? If a fallen tree branch is obstructing pedestrian or vehicular traffic and cannot be moved by the homeowner, the City will remove the branch.
Where can I find more information regarding the care and maintenance of the trees? You can find more information at International Society of Arboriculture and American Forests' Urban Tree Program.

 

For more information about the City's Forestry Program or general tree maintenance, please contact Chris Lichty, Supervisor of Forestry & Horticulture, at 303.335.4733.

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