From the Office of the Denver City Forester
One of the best ways to combat Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and improve Denver’s precious tree canopy is to plant a tree on your property. Thanks to the Office of the City Forester, there are three ways Denver property owners can qualify for a free tree.
Apply For a Free Tree
Since the launch of Be a Smart Ash, the Office of the City Forester has planted more than 10,000 free trees for Denver property owners who have space for a tree in their public right-of-way. Applying online is easy, and a certified arborist will carefully evaluate your space, determine the best kind of tree for your property and, if you qualify, the new tree will be delivered and planted along with specific instructions for how to immediately provide the best care for your tree to ensure a healthy future. This program is open to property owners, including businesses and condominium associations, across the city of Denver.
Since 1 in 6 trees in Denver is an ash, it’s certain that when EAB is discovered here there will be some tree loss, which will leave noticeable gaps in our beautiful tree canopy. In an effort to proactively combat these inevitable gaps, the Office of the City Forester launched the Ash Tree Gap Removal & Replacement Program to remove and replace smaller, poor-condition ash trees in the public right-of-way throughout the city. Currently, the program is focused on Denver’s southwest and northeast neighborhoods, although anyone interested in this program can apply online.
Forestry Neighborhood Initiative
In 2021, Denver’s Office of the City Forester launched the Denver Forestry Neighborhood Initiative, which is dedicated to pruning or removing trees that pose a risk to public safety. This initiative also includes planting trees in the public right-of-way, as space allows. The program is currently focused on specific neighborhoods in southwest Denver. Property owners who qualify for a free tree or for tree maintenance at their property will receive a letter and a postcard from the Office of the City Forester outlining which service(s) they qualify for and how to claim them. However, everyone in Denver is eligible for a free tree planting, so property owners can apply online if they think they have space in their public right-of-way.
Trees provided free by the Office of the City Forester are a public amenity and must be planted in the public right-of-way, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the opportunity to plant a tree in your yard. We strongly encourage you to enlist a tree care professional to help you evaluate and care for your trees – ash or otherwise. And, if you’re looking to add a tree to your yard, consider this list of trees researched and approved by the Office of the City Forester that do well in our unique climate.
For more information about any of these programs, email [email protected] or call the Denver Office of the City Forester at 720-913-0651.