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Boulder Forestry Crews Assessing Public Trees After Spring Snowstorm, Encourage Residents to Stay Safe Around Damaged Trees

The recent spring snowstorm brought over a foot of heavy snow to Boulder with the potential to weigh down and break branches on trees.

The city’s forestry staff are currently assessing damage to public trees throughout the city and prioritizing work based on the impact to public safety. The immediate safety hazards will be addressed initially, and the additional clean-up work will continue in the coming days. All this work will be completed in compliance with the current guidelines for COVID-19 to protect the staff and residents during the storm response. Forestry staff only manage the city’s public trees within parks and along roadways, but residents who are dealing with snow-damaged trees after the snowstorm may also be considering actions to clean up broken limbs and protect and repair trees.

If you are attempting to clear tree branches or get around town, please consider the following tips:

  • Check for hazards. Please be aware that trees and tree branches are falling around Boulder. Be extremely careful not to stand under trees with snow loads until the snow has fallen or melted off the tree. Before approaching a tree, examine your surroundings to avoid contacting downed utility lines or standing under broken, hanging branches. Contact your utility company if a tree is affecting power or other utility lines.
  • Be careful knocking snow off branches. This may cause the branches to break and fall above you. If you must remove snow, gently push up on branches from below to prevent adding additional stress
  • Forestry staff only manage public trees and not private trees.  Residents can review the city’s online map to determine if a tree is public or private by following the link: and click on “Maps.” If residents do not have access to the online map, please call the Parks & Forestry office at 303-441-4406.
  • If there are large, broken or hanging branches in a public tree within the public right-of-way, please report it via the Inquire Boulder system or if you do not have computer access call the Parks & Forestry office at 303-441-4406. Please provide as much information as possible including your contact information, the address of the tree, size of the broken branch (e.g., 12” diameter), how high up in the tree is it located and what would it hit if it fell (e.g., street, sidewalk, parked cars). The link to Inquire Boulder is:
  • The city will not pick up downed branches. If there are broken branches on the ground, please take them to Western Disposal or residents may also place branches out for curbside compost. Put smaller branches inside curbside compost collection bins and larger branches can be cut and bundled to spans less than six-feet long by three-feet wide. This debris will be collected as part of the city’s curbside compost collection program on the regularly scheduled collection day for that property.
  • Boulder Forestry does not care for trees on private property. If your private tree has broken or hanging branches, or if you need assistance hauling larger downed branches, the city recommends using an arborist licensed with the City of Boulder. A list of licensed arborists is available at:

For more information about Boulder Forestry, please visit or call 303-441-4406.  

About Boulder Forestry:
Boulder Forestry, a division of the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department, manages about 50,000 public trees, including routine monitoring of tree health. City park and public street trees are inspected periodically for structural integrity and safety using industry-set standards and techniques. Urban Forestry staff is conservative when determining if a tree must be removed. Trees are removed due to structural concerns, poor health or if they are diseased/infested with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  Factors that go into the risk assessment are tree species, size, defect and target - what the tree would hit if it fell. This procedure is part of sustainable city practices that facilitate the maintenance of a healthy and diverse urban canopy.

Published: April 17, 2020

Media Contacts:

Patrick von Keyserling, City of Boulder Communication Director, 720-607-2791
Denise White, Parks and Recreation, 303-413-7258