Tree Maintenance

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The City of Bozeman is considered one of the most livable places in the Rocky Mountain West. You can experience its beauty by meandering through tree-lined neighborhoods or enjoying one of the many parks and trails we have to offer. Our Forestry Division maintains approximately 24,000 trees on city properties, including street boulevards, public parks, and city facilities.

Bozeman's urban forest consists of a combination of older mature trees, and younger trees that have recently been planted in the newer residential neighborhoods. There are various species, including ash, honeylocust, linden, several varieties of maple, elm, oak, and others. Lifetime maintenance for each tree after planting includes:

  • structural pruning of young trees
  • pruning for sidewalk and street clearance
  • pruning for sight visibility and sign clearance
  • aerial pruning of large trees
  • tree removals
  • stump grinding

Residents also play a role in the maintenance of boulevard trees. Residents are responsible for watering, as turf irrigation is often insufficient. Plastic trunk guards should be installed on small trees (up to 3.5" diameter) as well as a mulch ring. As trees grow, remove the trunk guard but maintain your mulch ring to protect the base of the tree.

Funding for the Tree Maintenance District is through an annual assessment based on property square footage. At the current rate, a person with a 7500 sq. ft. lot would pay an annual assessment of $26.61.


Pruning is an important part of maintaining a healthy, beautiful, and safe urban forest. Urban trees benefit from pruning throughout their lifetimes.

City arborists work on smaller trees from the ground, structurally pruning to establish strong central leaders and balanced radial branching. Lower limbs are removed to provide clearance for streets and sidewalks (14' and 9', respectively).

Aerial Lift Pruning Image 1  Aerial Lift Pruning Image 2

Aerial Lift crews are utilized for routine maintenance of larger city trees, removing dead and diseased branches, broken branches, and limbs conflicting with structures or other obstacles. We are constantly striving to balance our scheduled, proactive work while responding to requests from residents.

If you think your boulevard tree needs to be pruned, please call us at 582-3225.

 Aerial Lift Image 3

Both of our Aerial Lifts were used during a street closure on South Willson Ave. This effort was necessary to thoroughly prune large elm trees extending over the entire street and several homes.


Tree Removals

Older trees are monitored and inspected on a regular basis, and the decision to remove a tree is based on an assessment of its current condition and the level of associated risk.

Tree Removal Image 1    Crew Removing Dying Cottonwood

Images 1-2. Dead and/or dying trees need to be removed promptly to ensure public safety.

High-risk boulevard trees are removed by Forestry Division crews. Adjacent homeowners may be eligible for a voucher through the Tree Replacement Program. More information on our Tree Replacement Program is available under 'Tree Planting'.


Rigging Large Wood During Removal   Wood Lowered During Removal

Images 3-4. Large trees may require complex techniques during removal. Our crews are properly trained and have the right equipment to be safe and efficient.

Persons requesting removal of a healthy, viable city tree for other reasons may be considered. If approved, they must pay full compensation for the appraised value of the tree.

Storm Damage & Emergency Response

Forestry crews are on-call 24/7 to respond to storm events and other emergencies. Our priority is public safety as we clear streets and sidewalks - cleanup of downed limbs may be delayed if the area is safe. 

Large broken or hanging limbs within the canopy (aerial hazards) are removed before we clear any branches lying on the ground.

Storm Damage Image 1    Storm Damage Image 2

Please DO NOT work on storm-damaged trees yourself! There may be unseen aerial hazards, including downed power lines. Our crews will respond quickly and make the area safe.

What you can do:

Report a broken limb by calling the Forestry Division at 406-582-3225 or email Please include address or nearest intersection, a brief description of the damage, and your contact information in case we need to call you.

The Forestry Division can only clear public areas - Please dispose of limbs from your private property by taking it to the landfill. Piling it on the boulevard only delays the clean-up process for our community.

Use caution when walking under tree canopies after a storm. There may be unseen hazards in the canopy.

Storm Damage Image 3

Heavy wind/snow loading can compromise even healthy trees. The best thing to do is report the incident and wait for Forestry crews to respond.