Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Urban Forestry Services

The Salt Lake City Urban Forestry Program provides most services related to the maintenance of city trees. All trees growing in the park strip between the sidewalk and road, as well as all trees in parks, are city trees. There are some neighborhoods where there is no park strip, but the trees along the road are still city trees; call for more information. The following services are provided for city trees:

  • Tree planting
  • Pruning
  • Removal
  • Stump grinding
  • Storm cleanup/pickup
  • Hazard assessment
  • Health evaluation
  • Permit issuance for private work on city trees

If you wish to have work done by a private service provider, call the Urban Forestry office to obtain a permit prior to the work being done. To request service for a city tree or a permit, please call the Urban Forestry office at (801) 972-7818.

Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. A voice mail message provides information if staff are unavailable. To request tree service the following information is needed:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Type of Service Requested

Confirmation that the requester is the owner of the property adjoining the service location is also needed. If the service location is different from the requester’s address, the correct location of the trees will need to be identified by the requester. Service is provided only for trees located on property owned or managed by Salt Lake City.

If there is an emergency, such as a broken tree or limb blocking the street, sidewalk, or driveway, call the Urban Forestry office and we will take care of the situation as quickly as possible.

Pruning Guidelines

We provide pruning services for public trees to facilitate public safety and the continued health of the city’s trees. The scope of our pruning work typically includes:

  • Hazards that present a risk to public safety such as large dead limbs
  • Impediments to the safe use of streets and sidewalks such as low branches
  • Conditions that are harmful to the health of the subject tree or other trees in the Urban Forest
  • To promote the overall health of the tree

If the tree you are requesting service for does not meet these conditions, you can obtain a permit to have the tree pruned by a certified arborist of your choosing, and the financial burden will be yours.

Removal Guidelines

It is the policy of Urban Forestry to remove trees as a last resort measure. We only remove trees that have been determined to warrant removal for the following reasons:

  • Public Safety is compromised beyond a reasonable level
  • An irreconcilable conflict exists between the tree and the safe use of the property
  • The health and vitality of the city’s urban forest are at risk

We generally will not remove trees solely because:

  • The roots are lifting the curb or sidewalk
  • The tree has roots interacting with the sewer or sewer line
  • The tree is “messy” and the adjacent property owner does not want to clean up

Usually, options other than tree removal are available to address site conflicts. Reasonable efforts to mitigate these conflicts must be demonstrated to have been tried and failed before Urban Forestry will consider removing an otherwise healthy tree or allow authorization of a permit for tree removal.

Tree Planting

When trees are removed, replanting will generally occur within a year, provided there is adequate space. Salt Lake City Urban Forestry strives to plant 1,000 new trees each year to maintain a healthy thriving urban forest.

If there is not a tree in the park strip adjacent to your property and you would like one, call our office and we will perform an evaluation of the site. If there is space, you will be put on the tree-planting list.

Before each planting season, confirmation letters are sent to a portion of those on the tree planting list. There will be several choices of species based on the size category of the park strip. Rank the species and return the letter as soon as possible. Species are allocated on a first-come first served basis.

As planting season approaches, utilities will be marked in the park strip and we will place an informational form on your door explaining where and when the new tree will be planted.