Urban Forest

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
-Greek Proverb

The trees of Salt Lake City provide a wealth of meaningful benefits.  From cleaning our air and reducing the amount of energy we consume, to increasing property values and framing our City’s identity, the trees of our urban forest quite simply make Salt Lake City a better place to live and work.

The City Council embraces trees as a treasured and essential amenity, and has identified urban forestry as one if its priorities for 2015.

Some Salt Lake City residents and property owners may not realize that they play an important role in improving and maintaining the health of the City’s urban forest.  While the City’s Urban Forestry Program is responsible for most major maintenance and service to City trees, park strip street trees rely on adjacent property owners to provide water, mulch, fertilizer, and to prevent damage from landscape maintenance equipment.

With the goal of maximizing the many benefits of our City’s trees, the Urban Forestry Program provides the following services:

  • Online planting and tree care guidance for residents
  • Treatment for insect and disease issues that affect trees located on public property
  • Tree pruning and crown training for street and park trees (to keep them safe and healthy)
  • Tree and stump removal (for trees that have died or become unstable)
  • Street tree planting (if you have a suitable planting spot on your park strip the City wants to plant a tree there)
  • Front Yard Tree Planting (for properties adjacent to narrow park strips) learn more
  • Permitting for private companies to plant, prune, or remove a City Tree (in certain circumstances)

Contact the City’s Urban Forestry Department at 801-972-7818 or online for these services and more.

More tree tips:

Gator bags conserve water by providing a slow release watering system for newly planted trees.   Wrap the bag around the tree trunk, fill the bag with water, and zip it up.  Fill the bag up with water once or twice a week.  Gator bags promote deep root growth, eliminate runoff water, provide deep water saturation, and reduce water.  Available at garden stores or online.

Trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.  If a neighbor’s tree impacts another property, this is considered a civil matter to be worked out between neighbors.  Property owners should also take corrective measures if a tree on private property impacts the public way or has a diseased or insect infested tree that may impact City trees.

Rocky Mountain Power provides tips regarding correct placement and selection of trees when power lines are overhead.  Always call 811 to contact the free underground utility locating service in your area at least 48 hours before digging.   Never attempt to prune trees located near power lines, call Rocky Mountain Power at 888-221-7070 [source: rockymountainpower.net].