Boulevard Tree Pruning

Public property trees are pruned in accordance with the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) A300 Standard Practices (Pruning) and the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Best Management Practices for Tree Pruning. Tree health and vitality are primary objectives of the trees and the urban forest as a whole.

Boulevard trees are pruned for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To remove dead, dying, diseased, or structurally defective branches (typically limbs greater than 3" in diameter)
  • To remove limbs that obstruct vehicle traffic, traffic signs and signals, street lighting, pedestrian walk ways, buildings, and pole to building power service lines
  • To provide street clearance for maintenance, delivery, and emergency vehicles (usually 14 to 16 feet above street level)
    • Trees are pruned so that they have a symmetrical crown, meaning that the sidewalk side of a tree will also be raised to the same approximate height
  • To correct growth defects and to establish strong branch architecture in young trees

Boulevard trees are not pruned:

  • To improve a view
  • Because the canopy blocks a commercial sign or advertisement
  • To allow more sunlight to reach a solar panel, the ground or gardens, or a TV satellite
  • Because it interferes with Xcel Energy owned utility lines (call Xcel at 1-800-895-4999 to request pruning)

What residents can do:

Residents should refrain from pruning public property boulevard trees, however, residents may prune suckers from trees. 

Residents may submit a free permit application if they wish to hire a private contractor to prune boulevard trees.

Submit a pruning request:

Beginning in January 2024, Forestry will begin pruning boulevard trees on a cycle-basis with the assistance of city-hired contractors. This will mean the discontinuation of  most complaint-based pruning requests with the exception of trees that are blocking a stop sign/stop light, touching a building/structure or which have a structural defect that, based on a professional assessment by Forestry staff, needs immediate attention. 

While residents are welcome to submit a request or complaint, please note the above.

Xcel Energy is responsible for pruning tree branches in direct conflict with overhead power lines. For information regarding power line pruning, please call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-4999.

Boulevard Tree Pruning by Contractors

Beginning in 2024 the City will have contractors assisting the Forestry department pruning public property boulevard trees. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Forestry office at 651-266-6400 or by emailing

Last Edited: December 28, 2023