Office of the City Forester


2021 Tree Service License Renewals

The Office of the City Forester is no longer accepting renewal payments nor issuing renewal licenses.

Tree Service Licenses will be renewed and issued by the Denver Business Licensing Center, Department of Excise & Licenses. License holders may choose to renew their license via email/online, in person or by mail. During the last quarter of 2020, the Department of Excise & Licenses will be emailing current license holders instructions for renewal and payment processes.

Find more information from the Department of Excise & Licenses; Tree Service Licenses. 


Monaco Parkway: 1st to 6th Avenue

Diseased Tree Removal/Replacement on Monaco
The Office of the City Forester will be performing tree work on Monaco Parkway, between 1St Avenue and 6th Avenue, staged over the next 3 to 4 years. Many of the locust trees in this area of the Parkway are dying from thyronectria canker, an incurable disease common in locust trees in our area. The project will start this winter with removing the trees in the worst condition and continue over the next three to four years as trees continue to decline. Soon, you will begin to see trees in this area marked with a ribbon to indicate the need for removal and replacement. Starting in the spring of 2021, trees will be replaced with a mix of species. We request your help in maintaining the trees through supplemental watering and avoid wounding when mowing or trimming. Should you have any questions about tree care or the upcoming work being done, please email


Be a smart ash. The emerald borer in Denver
Denver Trees in the Fall
Forestry Department Clearing Dead Trees
View of City Looking Over Fall Trees

Winter Watering
This winter has been especially dry, so residents are encouraged to water trees on their property when temperatures exceed 40 degrees. Without consistent moisture, trees become stressed and will not have enough energy to ward off pests, disease, root death and crown dieback. 

Water using the flood-irrigation technique: leave a hose on low-flow for at least 15-20 minutes, moving it around the base of the tree every few minutes until the entire root area is moist. It's important to note that tree root systems are wide, so water under the entire canopy.

The goal is to water enough so that it can seep at least 12" deep into the soil to reach the root system. Because the ground is cold, this may take a couple days of watering to accomplish. Let the soil dry out before watering again.

Learn more about winter watering.

Permits & Tree Removal

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. 

Tree Removal

Permits are required prior to the removal or planting of any street trees in the right-of-way. Permits can be requested by sending an email to with a description of the work to be done. To help speed up the permit process, get the street tree’s site ID # from Denver’s interactive street tree inventory and include it with your permit request.

Storm & Tree Damage Information

Property owners are responsible for*:

  • Cleanup of debris from trees on private property and from trees within the public right-of-way adjacent to their property.
    • Limbs on the ground are considered debris. Property owners can hire any licensed company to haul limbs away- for this type of work, the company does NOT have to be a licensed tree contractor.
  • Pruning needs of private property trees and trees within the public right-of-way adjacent to their property.  

For general questions about the condition of a public-right-of way tree, please contact Denver Forestry at

*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.

Damaged tree and broken branches:

  • The Office of the City Forester recommends that you make sure any tree care contractor is licensed and insured- view current list.(PDF, 156KB)
  • Tree work can be very dangerous and you could be subject to serious injury if you attempt to perform this type of work without proper experience

Emergency tree and limb removal:

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.(PDF, 156KB)

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.

Non-Emergency tree and limb removal:

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.(PDF, 156KB)

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!

Tips for removing snow from trees:

  • Be aware that accumulating snow, ice, or wind could cause limbs to break and fall at any time!
  • 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!

Disposal and Recycling of Smaller Tree Branches

For residents managing smaller limbs on their own, Solid Waste Management provides disposal and recycling options. Learn more about options to dispose of branches and yard debris.

Large Limb Disposal
(bundles more than 4 ft. long & more than 50 lbs.)

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(PDF, 156KB) to remove the debris. 

Emerald Ash Borer Information

Visit for everything you need to know about preparing for the Emerald Ash Borer in Denver.

Be A Smart Ash

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. 

The 2013 confirmation of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) within the City of Boulder introduced a new destructive tree pest to the metro-Denver urban forest that will impact hundreds of thousands of property owners across the Front Range of Colorado.

There are an estimated 330,000 ash trees in Denver making up roughly 15% of the city's urban trees. Losing these trees will have adverse economic, environmental and social impacts on our community. Over the next 15 years, EAB has the potential to destroy more of Denver’s urban forest than any other disease or pestilence in the city’s history.

After more than a decade of managing EAB in various locations in North America, it has become clear that ash trees can be well protected through proper preventive pesticide treatments. Foresters have also learned that EAB is extremely difficult to detect during the first few years of an infestation, and that it's common for newly found infestations to progress rapidly.

Denver's Office of the City Forester began treating public ash trees in 2016. Property owners need to consider the personal and monetary value of their ash trees and should consult with an arborist to determine the best course of action for treating or replacing ash trees on their property.

Additional resources:

Tree planting & replacing tips

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:

Late September and October are generally excellent times to plant trees and many nurseries offer sales during this time of year as well.
Please remember that permits are required to remove or plant trees in the public right-of-way. Learn more

Community Foresters - Volunteers

volunteers planting a tree  

Visit the Volunteer Page, Forestry Volunteers, for more information on DPR volunteering.

Notable Trees - Tree Walks

looking up at a tree's red autumn leaves

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(PDF, 55KB) 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(PDF, 55KB) information provided by the Colorado Tree Coalition.

Download the City Park Arboretum Tree Walk Map(PDF, 212KB)  and Tree Species List.(PDF, 168KB)

About Denver Forestry

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:

  • The direct maintenance of public trees within parks and designated parkways
  • Oversight of privately maintained trees per (Municipal Code, Chapter 57)  and taking actions to improve the overall quality of Denver’s urban tree canopy

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, 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.