Spring Snow Can Damage Trees

Published on May 20, 2022

Spring snow can be damaging to trees due to higher water concentration that adds weight to the surface area of branches, weighing them down. Denver Parks & Recreation is reminding residents how to remove snow and manage 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.

DO NOT relocate branches to parkways or other public areas.

Tips for removing snow from trees:

  • Wet heavy snow can weigh down tree branches and cause them to break
  • 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 ladder to reach higher limbs

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 www.denvergov.org/forestry 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 monthly 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 monthly large item pickup day
  • 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 denvergov.org/recycling
  • Compost customers can put smaller branches in their green carts for weekly collection

Power lines/cables:

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


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