Neighborhood Tree Canopy Project
Fort Collins has cultivated an extensive urban forest due to over a century of forward-thinking planters and stewards, and has received an annual Tree City USA award for nearly four decades. While many neighborhoods throughout the City have significant tree canopy cover provided by front yard, backyard and street trees, areas of opportunity remain.
The City of Fort Collins (City) has successfully completed two free front yard tree give-away and planting events to increase tree canopy in specific neighborhoods. Planting day each year coincides with United Way of Larimer County Make a Difference Day and Arbor Day Foundation Neighborwoods Month.
City staff and local volunteers planted 29 deciduous shade trees in the Avery Park Neighborhood (Taft Hill Road and Prospect Road) in 2015, and 31 trees in the Greenbriar Park Neighborhood (Willox Lane and Lemay Avenue) in 2016. Actively maintaining and expanding tree canopy cover is a citywide goal prioritized in the City Plan, Nature in the City Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan.
Front yard trees are free to select residents upon completion of an application and competitive evaluation process. South- and west-facing front yards receive priority. Planting trees in backyards will not be considered.
Applicants must be willing to care for the new tree, so that it may grow into a healthy amenity for the property and the neighborhood. Educational support and follow-up from City staff will be available to help the new trees prosper.
Trees will be planted on Friday, October 27th, 2017.
The 2017 project area is located in the Spring Park Neighborhood bound by S College Av (west), Stover St (east), E Stuart St (north) and Columbia Rd (south). Trees will only be available for residences within the project boundaries.
Apply to Receive a Tree
The City is now accepting applications for participation in the 2017 Neighborhood Tree Canopy Project!
Free front yard tree recipients will be selected based on a number of factors, including the number of trees already present on the property, the amount of space available for a front yard tree, and yard direction with south- and west-facing front yards receiving priority.
If you are a property owner or resident in the 2017 project area and would like to be considered to receive a free front yard tree, please apply online here.
What Tree Species are Available?
The following six species of deciduous shade trees are available for this project. For more information about each species click on the link provided. Additional information on tree care will be provided when the trees are planted.
- Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
- Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
- Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
- Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
- Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
- Linden (Tilia cordata)
Why Should I Plant a Tree in my Yard?
Our urban forest contributes significantly to the overall health and well-being of City residents. When you plant a tree, it benefits you, your neighborhood, and the community as a whole. Specific benefits include:
- Wildlife Habitat: Trees provide food and cover for local wildlife including songbirds, butterflies and other pollinators.
- Energy Savings: Strategically planted trees can shade buildings from the summer sun to reduce cooling costs, and slow winter winds to reduce winter heating costs.
- Neighborhood Vitality: Trees offer beauty, shade, and an aesthetic that contributes to creating a more walkable and enjoyable neighborhood and city.
- Carbon Offsets: Throughout their lives, trees capture and store significant amounts of carbon, an element of many greenhouse gases, into their roots, trunks and leaves.
- Air Quality: Trees are natural air filters capturing impurities from the environment like chemicals from vehicle exhaust and gases contributing to warmer temperatures.
- Loss Mitigation: Proactive planting supports efforts to soften impacts associated with anticipated tree deaths caused by the emerald ash tree borer pest.
This small beetle, originally from Asia, is responsible for killing over 50 million Ash trees in the United States. Many Eastern and Midwestern municipalities have lost nearly all of their Ash trees due to this deadly pest. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is now present in Boulder, Colorado. The State Department of Agriculture and USDA/APHIS have issued an Ash Quarantine for all of Boulder County, which prohibits the movement of any Ash material out of the Quarantine Area.
Experts agree that Emerald Ash Borer will reach Fort Collins through natural spread or through the transport of infested Ash material into our City. CSU Entomologists tell us it is not a matter of "if"; it is a matter of "when". So, what impacts will EAB have on Fort Collins? Eighteen percent of City owned trees in Fort Collins are Ash; that means nearly 1 out of every 5 trees on public land have the potential to be infested and killed! We suspect that the percent of Ash on private property may be the same or even higher. In an effort to determine how many Ash are on private property, the Forestry Division will initiate an analysis of private property trees in 2015. What can you do to help? Be aware that we may contact you to seek permission to enter your property and collect data for the analysis. We will contact you ONLY of your property is selected as part of the sampling plan. Also, pass the word that moving ash material, such as logs, branches or firewood, threatens Colorado's urban forests
For more information about detection, prevention, and treatment visit the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture webpage.
Project Contact Information
Senior Urban Forester