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Tree Care

The Golden City Forestry Department plants and maintains the trees located in city parks, public right-of-ways and other public spaces. While our city foresters care for public trees, they are also committed to protecting the health and diversity of all the trees in our community, including those planted and maintained by private property-owners.

If you aren’t sure whether a tree belongs to the City or is privately owned, view our Public Tree Map to see our continuously evolving urban tree canopy. The map provides an inventory of trees in public right-of-ways, as well as city parks, the Golden cemetery, and on city-owned properties. Trees located on private property, and in open space and natural areas are not included in the inventory.
Residential Tree Care
Ask a City Forester!
If you have any questions about trees on private property, don't hesitate to contact our forestry team. We are happy to provide residents with free advice on tree care.
Plant a Tree
  • Recommended Tree Species for Golden:  Golden's hardiness zone is 5b. The soil is high alkaline, and generally clay loam structure. The trees listed in this document generally do well in Golden, but consider where you want to plant it, irrigation availability, sun exposure, and the size of the tree once it’s matured when making your selection. If you aren’t sure, contact us! We’d love to help.
  • Tree Planting Guide:  Give your tree the best possible start! The preferred way to plant your tree depends on how it comes to you–as a bare root, in a nursery container, or balled and burlapped. This helpful guide from the Arbor Day Foundation provides instructions for planting each type of sapling.
Annual Tree Sale
Take advantage of our Annual Tree Sale which takes place each spring. The City of Golden offers for sale a limited number of different species of trees that are known to adapt and thrive well in our area.
  • Tree Sale opens March 1 and closes April 15, or until trees are sold out
  • All trees come in 7-gallon pots and are $80 plus tax
  • Program is only available to City of Golden residents
  • Households are limited to a maximum of two (2) trees
  • Must have an active online account with the Golden Parks & Recreation Division to purchase trees
  • 2024 available trees include:  Bigtooth Maple, Norwegian Sunset Maple, Catalpa, Redbud, Coffee tree, Amur Maackia, Chanticleer Pear, Texas Red Oak, Bur Oak, and Ivory Silk Tree Lilac
Tree Limb Recycling
Different options are available for disposing of downed tree limbs. 
  • The City of Golden Residential Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) waste collection program allows homeowners within city limits to sign up for bi-weekly curbside organics collection. The program accepts grass clippings, weeds, leaves, branches and limbs that fit into the organics collection bin.
  • Semi-annually in the spring and the fall, the city sponsors Yard Waste Collection Days, which provides PAYT customers the opportunity to set out bundles of tree branches (max of 4 inch diameter) and other yard waste for pick up. Check the Community Calendar for dates.
  • Jeffco Slash Drop Off at Tincup Ridge takes branches, woody debris, and logs up to 6 inches in diameter for a fee. Open from 9am - 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Private contractors often own their own chippers and may be willing to shred slash for a fee. This is a great option if you would like to keep the resulting mulch.
Free Mulch!
Protect and nourish your newly planted tree with free mulch made from recycled yard waste. The mulch is located at the west end of the Golden History Park near the intersection of 11th & Illinois. The site is open to Golden residents for self-loading during daylight hours. Please contact us if you are in need of larger amounts of mulch.
Hiring a Tree Contractor
While the City is unable to endorse specific tree care contractors, we do recommend that you:
  • Obtain multiple quotes to compare costs, most will provide free estimates.
  • Verify the licenses and credentials of the contractors.
  • Look up ratings and reviews to gauge their reputation.
The City of Denver maintains a list of licensed tree service contractors operating in the area.
Choosing a local company may also help you secure better rates by minimizing transportation costs and fees. Our goal is to support you in maintaining a healthy, vibrant tree landscape in our community.
Trees in the Right-of-Way
The City Forester is responsible for planting and maintaining trees in city right-of-ways, which are generally defined as areas between the sidewalk and curb where the adjacent property is residential, and not controlled by an HOA.
We encourage homeowners with adjacent city right-of-way planting strips to contact us for a street tree planting request. We will evaluate the site to ensure its suitability for a new tree as part of our annual planting program.
Our services include planting, pruning, and inspecting city trees. We also handle hazardous tree removals/replacements, integrated pest management (IPM), storm damage, inventory and watering/fertilizing.
Protecting our Urban Canopy
Wildfire Risk Management
The Golden Forestry Department is actively working to identify and address areas within the urban corridor that require the removal of downed and dead trees. This effort is aimed at reducing potential fire hazards by clearing out accumulated fuel load. Our primary focus is on the removal of dead, storm-damaged, and fallen trees in natural areas, while also respecting property owners' privacy screens and preserving the habitats that wildlife rely on in these spaces.

How you can help:

Our Community Wildfire Protection Plan also emphasizes the critical role homeowners play in safeguarding their properties against wildfires. By taking proactive measures you can significantly reduce the likelihood of wildfires affecting your home. This includes:
  • Home Features:  Implementing fire-resistant materials and designs in the home's construction and layout.
  • Landscaping Design:  Planning your garden and outdoor spaces with fire safety in mind, using fire-resistant plants and materials.
  • Outdoor Storage Practices:  Storing flammable materials safely and away from your home.
  • Vegetation Maintenance:  Regularly maintaining and clearing vegetation on your property to minimize fire risk.
By taking these measures, you can significantly lower the risk of wildfire damage to your property. Together, we can create a safer community.
Emerald Ash Borer Information
Many in our community are concerned about the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which has been detected in Front Range Communities including Fort Collins, Boulder and as far south as Littleton, but so far has NOT been detected in Golden. 

The Emerald Ash Borer is a small, green boring beetle that has a devastating effect on ash trees, which make up around 15 to 20 percent of all the trees found in our Front Range communities.
While the beetle has yet to be found in Golden, our city foresters are actively monitoring for their appearance, and are responding now as though it’s already here. They recommend that the community does as well. Once a tree starts showing symptoms, it is usually too late to be saved; proactive planning is crucial.

Know the Signs & Contact Us

For helpful hints on knowing the signs of EAB, watch this Colorado State Forestry Service video. (embed video)

If you suspect a tree is showing symptoms of an infestation, contact the Forestry Division and they will come out to take a branch sample.

Additional Resources
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