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Right tree, right place -  selecting the right tree

Planting the right tree in the right place helps trees survive, reduces maintenance costs, and prevents property damage. Planting a tree can have a lasting impact, so choose wisely to add a valuable asset to our community! 

Street trees in the public right of way

Planting Permit

Residents must obtain a free permit from City Foresty to plant a tree in the City right of way. Request a permit online or call the Forestry office at 719-385-5942.

REMEMBER: Call 811 before you dig!

Approved Street Tree List

Trees planted in the right of way must be on the Approved Street Tree List for Colorado Springs. The planting strip must be at least 4ft wide to plant a tree.

It is prohibited to plant the following trees in the public right of way:

  • Any of the poplar (Populus) species—aspens, cottonwoods, etc.
  • Any of the willow (Salix) species
  • Any of the ash (Fraxinus) species—green ash, white ash
  • Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)—sometimes called “Chinese” elm
  • Boxelder (Acer negundo) --including “Sensation” maple
  • Mulberry
  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
  • Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Trees on private property

The Front Range Tree Recommendation List contains many great recommendations, which may not be suitable for street trees, but could be great choices for planting on private property. No permit is required to plant a tree on your own property.

Colorado Springs Utilities offers many great tips on tree planting, care and maintenance. Visit for information. 

Considerations for all tree planting

Situations to Avoid

  1. Broad spreading canopy on a small hawthorn that is blocking the street and the sidewalk
  2. Silver maple planted in a narrow parkway
  3. Cottonwood planted too close to the sidewalk
  4. Tree planted within 5ft of a stop sign on a corner
  5. Large shrubs planted on a corner blocking visibility of traffic
  6. Spruce tree planted too close to sidewalk

Additional resources