Tree Planting

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Planting new trees is the most important step towards a healthy urban forest. Proper planning and attention to detail are critical to ensure young trees can thrive. Trees need adequate space to grow amongst utilities, signage, intersections, and other trees. A mulch ring at the base is essential for protecting the trunk and reducing competition with turf grass. Young trees need water! And lastly, a concerned Bozemanite to contact us with any other issues.

The Forestry Division has several programs for planting trees in our public spaces. The most important factor is you – city trees belong to the public! Each new tree requires a shared maintenance between residents and the Forestry Division – we ask you to help with watering, mulch and monitoring. Contact us for pruning needs or any other concerns. Learn more about our planting programs below:

Cost Share Program

In order to maintain a healthy urban forest, the Forestry Division offers an annual selection of hardy, diverse species that are available to Bozeman residents at a shared cost.

  • Trees must be planted in the public boulevard (the space between sidewalk and curb).
  • Residents are responsible for watering their new trees.
  • Limit one tree per customer.

The 2020 Cost Share Application is now available!


List of Selected Species for 2020:

Fall Fiesta or Unity Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum 'Bailsta'; 'Unity')

Northern Acclaim or Prairie Spire Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos 'Harve'; 'Prairie Spire')

Morden Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata 'Morden')

American Sentry American Linden (Tilia americana 'McKSentry')

Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)

Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)

Hot Wings Tatarian Maple (Acer tataricum 'GarAnn')

Amur Maackia (Maackia amurensis)

Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata)


All tree stock will be 1.5" diameter or larger. The 2020 species are available for $80.00 each. Applications are approved following site inspection to ensure compliance with Forestry Division standards. Cost Share trees are planted by Forestry Division staff and include staking, mulch and water bags (optional purchase). Cost Share trees are not guaranteed and replacement due to neglect will not be the responsibility of the Forestry Division.

For detailed information on each of the above species, please enter the scientific name of the tree (shown in parentheses) into your web browser. For all other questions, please contact the Forestry Division at 582-3225 or 582-3226.


Voucher Tree Replacement Program

The City of Bozeman Forestry Division will be continuing its voucher replacement program for the season.  The City will contribute toward the cost of replacing boulevard trees that have been lost due to storm damage, insects or disease, decline, or vandalism. Homeowners may obtain a $300 voucher for every tree 10" in diameter or larger.

To schedule a site inspection, please call 582-3227 or email Dead boulevard trees or those in very poor condition will be removed at the discretion of city arborists, to include stump grinding. To be eligible for this program, replacement trees must be planted in compliance with city policy:

  • Minimum size of replacement is 1.5” in trunk diameter
  • Must not conflict with underground or overhead utilities (minimum distance from underground utilities is 10 ft.) Call before you dig: 1-800-424-5555 (free service)
  • Must not encroach into street vision triangle
  • Spacing must be in compliance with city policy and within the required distance from existing trees (30 ft. between large shade species, and 25 ft. between smaller ornamentals)
  • Species must be approved for city boulevard planting. Please refer to our Street Tree Guide.

Participating nurseries must adhere to the Forestry Division’s planting specifications.  Replacement trees must be planted on the city boulevard.

For more information please call 582-3227.

Participating Nurseries

  • Cashman Nursery
  • Lawson's Nursery
  • Oak Gardens
  • Reese Creek Tree Farm
  • Wagner Nursery
  • The Garden Barn



Plant Your Own Tree

Bozeman residents can plant trees on city boulevards by obtaining a free permit from the Forestry Division. We will provide guidance in selecting an approved species, placement, and planting techniques. By contacting us, you also help keep our tree inventory up to date.

Step 1: Fill out our free Planting Permit. The permit details all of our quality standards and spacing restrictions. Submit electronically or by mail for our review.

811 LogoStep 2:  Before you decide on a location for your new tree, contact Montana 811 to have your underground utilities marked. This is a free service, and usually takes up to 2 business days. The toll-free number to call is 1-800-424-5555 or visit

Step 3:  After your site has been marked for utilities, call the Forestry Division at 582-3225 to approve your planting permit. We will conduct a site inspection to help you determine the best planting spot amongst utilities, signage, intersections, and other trees.

Here are some general guidelines that might be helpful before you select your tree:

  • Placement of large shade trees should be 30-35 ft. apart.
  • Placement of smaller, ornamental trees should be 20-25 feet apart.
  • Trees must be kept a minimum of 10 ft. away from underground utilities.
  • Only smaller, ornamental trees with a mature height of 25 ft. or less are allowed for planting under overhead utilities.
  • Bozeman Municipal Ordinance requires a minimum trunk diameter of 1.5".
  • Tree species must be approved for boulevard planting. Refer to our Street Tree Guide.
  • Trees must be no closer than 30 ft. in front of a stop sign, and no closer than 15 ft. in front of other signs.
  • For corner lots, trees must be clear of the street vision triangle. (see diagram below)

Street Vision Triangle Image