Trees & Urban Forests

A man walking his dog on a park trail in the autumn.

Trees on City property

If a tree is within eight to 20 feet from the front of a property, it is most likely on municipal grounds and will be maintained or treated by the City. Trees considered hazardous are removed to prevent harm to people or property. The City does not remove healthy trees that drop branches, cones, or seeds onto private property.

Residents must get permission from the City before planting a tree on municipal property. Trees growing on City property are owned by the City regardless of who planted them. Pruning or planting of City-owned trees is not permitted by anyone other than City staff or contractors.

General tree care

A visible decline in tree health often starts with drought-related stress. This in turn might bring on other symptoms like disease and insects which often attack drought-stressed trees. Fortunately, most drought-related issues can be alleviated with frequent deep-watering.

Here are other ways to keep your trees alive and kicking:

  • Herbicides can damage or kill trees, as trees are just larger versions of broad-leafed weeds. Never use herbicides in hot weather or apply under a tree canopy.
  • Keep grass away from the tree base. It reduces root compaction from mowers, eliminates the chance of damage from string trimmers, and reduces competition for water and nutrients.

Diseases and pests

Insect pests on ornamental trees are often more troubling to tree owners than to the trees themselves, which can often survive infestations. Most pest and disease problems in an urban environment result from tree stress or too much (or too little) water, light, or fertilizer. However, there are occasions where infestations can pose a serious threat to tree health.