Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Urban Forestry Suggested Trees

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

The right tree for the right place– Trees are lifetime investments. Trees and sites need to be chosen wisely. Trees are a vital part of public infrastructure, reducing stormwater runoff, reducing heat, enhancing property values, and encouraging wildlife habitat. However, trees share space with other public infrastructure requiring thoughtful selection of the right of way.

The right tree
-Trees come in all shapes and sizes and can change dramatically from juvenile to maturity over their lifetimes. Making a good selection for the tree’s mature size is important. Choosing the right tree when planting will ensure a healthy tree that is characteristic of its natural shape and form that doesn’t have to undergo unnecessary disfiguring pruning to accommodate utility wires, buildings, signs, or street lights.

The right place
-City trees are growing in restricted sites and are sharing space with other public infrastructure, underground utilities, signs, lights, sidewalks, and driveways. Their below-ground parts need just as much space as their above-ground parts. The space a tree is being planted in needs to be able to accommodate the tree at its mature size. Selecting the proper planting site helps to mitigate infrastructure conflicts, such as raised and lifted sidewalks and driveways and displaced curbs. All of these are costly to repair and repairing them can damage the tree and compromise its health.

Planting the right tree in the right place
supports maximum tree health and longevity in the landscape.

Tree planting information for planting in the Public Right of Way (park strip)

  • All trees planted in the public right of way require a permit issued by the SLC Urban Forestry office.
  • All trees planted in the public right of way must be a minimum of 2” caliper in size.
  • The site chosen for planting should follow the below criteria: 5’ from water meter and/or utility box
    • 10’ from fire hydrant
    • 5-10’ from residential driveway
    • 5-10’ from property line of adjoining parcel
    • 5-10’ from non-traffic conducting signage
    • 5-10’ from utility pole and/or light
    • 20’ from an unregulated intersection (20’ back from intersecting sidewalks)
    • 30’ from stop signs
    • 30’ from commercial driveway and/or alley
    • 40’ from an intersection with traffic lights (40’ back from intersecting sidewalks)
    • 15-20’ from a tree that is small in size at maturity (less than 30’ tall)
    • 20-30’ from a tree that is medium in size at maturity (30 to 50’ tall)
    • 30-40’ from a tree that is large in size at maturity (more than 50’ tall)
  • Comprehensive tree planting directions will be provided with all planting permits.

Click here for a list of trees native to Utah. Please note: Most of Utah’s native trees grow in the considerably wetter and colder conditions of Utah’s mountains and may not be suited for urban environments.

Small Tree Species

Select small species if one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • Park strip 3 to 5 feet wide
  • Park strip is with or without high voltage transmission lines
  • Space for root or canopy growth is limited

Medium Tree Species

Select medium species if one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • Park strip is 5-8 feet wide
  • Planting site has no overhead high voltage transmission lines
  • Intermediate size is compatible with site

Large Tree Species

Select large species if one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • Park strip is 8 feet wide or wider
  • Planting site has no overhead high voltage transmission lines
  • Site will accommodate large tree with maximum size, shade and energy conservation benefits
  • Space for root and branch growth will not conflict with site features