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City of Colorado Springs / Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services / Frequently Asked Questions / Forestry

Frequently Asked Questions - Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services

Q: Most Frequently Asked Forestry Q & A's


For more information, please report a city tree problem here: city tree inspection form or call City Forestry at (719) 385-5942.

Q: I have tree branches down from high winds!

A: Citizens should call City Forestry at 385-5942 for tree-related emergencies in the public right-of-way. Our office is open 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please leave a message with your name, address, and zip code and crews will pick up your branches when we are in your area. If it is an emergency, you can call 385-6504 until 5 p.m.

City Forestry is unable to remove trees or branches from trees on your private property. These are the responsibility of private property owners. For a list of licensed tree services click here.

Trees or branches that have fallen on power lines or transformers should be reported to Colorado Springs Utilities at 448-4800.

Q: Need free mulch for your water-wise landscaping projects?

A: We have free mulch available! If you have a truck to fill up or just need a trash can full you can come by and get it (bring a shovel)! Take I-25 to the Fontenero Exit, Exit Number 144. Exit and turn onto West Fontanero Street. Turn RIGHT onto Recreation Way and go to 1601 Recreation Way (big metal bldg. with Forestry Operations Center sign in front and fence around it). The mulch is across from that building by the road and you can load up what you need!

Also, FYI, you can drop off your own yard waste (leaves, tree clippings, old fence wood, etc.--NOT painted wood) at Rocky Top Resources, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, FREE with a canned good donation for Care and Share. Rocky Top Resources is located at 1755 E. Las Vegas St. (S.E. of water treatment plant). For more information or weekly hours and rates, call 579-9103.

Q: My tree looks sick. What can I do about it?

A: We have a great list of links for tree insect and disease problems. If you have a problem that can't be identified, or if more than one tree is showing the same symptoms, it may be time to call in a professional. Here is a list of Colorado Springs Certified Arborists and Licensed Tree Services. Don't trust just anyone with a chain saw for the health of your valuable landscape assets!

Q: When should I prune my trees? How do I do it?

A: The best time to prune deciduous (or hardwood) trees is when they are dormant. On some flowering trees you may want to prune right after flowering. Conifers may be pruned any time of year, but pruning during the dormant season may minimize sap and resin flow from cut branches. For a complete guide to pruning, check out the U. S. Forest Service's How To Prune Trees brochure. Check out this site for great information: tree and forest care. One important pruning rule to remember is "Don't Top Trees!" Check out this site for reasons why: Plant Amnesty-Don't Top Trees! Again, when the pruning job is too big, it's time to hire a Professional Arborist. And, if the tree is growing in a parkway, that area between the sidewalk and the street, you must check with your City Forestry Office to see what regulations govern pruning in this right-of-way. City Forestry prunes these trees on a 10-year pruning cycle.

Q: I am concerned that my tree is hazardous. How can I tell?

A: There are many websites on this subject, but the best one for homeowners is How To Recognize Hazardous Defects in Trees. Again, it may be best to call in a professional for an opinion.

Q: The tree behind my house is growing into and above the power lines. What can I do?

A: Reliable electric power at the flip of a light switch or press of a remote control and beautiful landscape trees contributing to the livability of our communities are both things that we desire to have in our society. Unfortunately, sometimes trees and power lines don't coexist well. For guidelines on this subject, see Electric Line Clearance. Ultimately, if the tree in question is the wrong tree in the wrong place, you may want to consider having the tree removed and replant with a more appropriate variety. After you have familiarized yourself with the subject, you might also want to contact your utility's line clearance program. Call CSU Utilities to request an inspection of your tree at (719) 448-4800 (and tell them you need Utilities Line Clearance).

Q: What, and when, is Arbor Day?

A: Arbor Day is America's National Tree Holiday, the day we set aside to plant ceremonial trees, educate children about the importance of trees, and honor the important role trees play in our daily lives. The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. It was the brainchild of Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), a Nebraska journalist and politician. Today, National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. In Oregon, we celebrate Arbor Week the first full week in April. For more information on Arbor Day, visit the There you will find a complete list of all state Arbor Day celebrations, a list of state trees (Colorado's is Colorado Blue Spruce) and a variety of other notable tree facts, figures, and advice. And by the way, plant a tree yourself! If you don't have any more room for trees in your yard, make arrangements to volunteer to plant at the City's Arbor Day!


For more information, contact  or call (719) 385-5942.

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