Guide to Tree Ordinance Regulations

Before You Work On Your Trees Know These Regulations 

In 1952, the City of Boise adopted an ordinance designed to protect and preserve trees located along public rights-of-way and in other public areas. Owners of private property adjacent to public rights-of-way share with the city a responsibility for the maintenance and care of these public trees. 

An Easy Guide to Tree Ordinance Regulations


If You Want To . . .

Your Responsibilities

Community Forestry's Responsibilities

Plant a tree in public rights-of-way.

Call Community Forestry prior to planting for a FREE permit and inspection.

A Forestry Specialist will inspect the site for potential planting locations, appropriate species, and inform you of available planting programs.

Prune a tree in public rights-of-way.

Call Community Forestry prior to pruning for a FREE permit, inspection, and a list of City of Boise licensed tree service providers (also on website).

A Forestry Specialist will inspect and assess the health of the tree and make specific pruning recommendations.

Remove a tree in public rights-of-way.

Call Community Forestry for a FREE inspection before removing any public property tree.

A Forestry Specialist will inspect and assess the health of the tree and determine if removal is warranted. If not warranted, removal will not be permitted.

Report a tree emergency that is a public hazard on public property.

Call Community Forestry immediately (208-608-7700) or Police Dispatch (208-377-6790).

Community Forestry staff is available 24 hours a day to respond to tree emergencies on public property.

Treat pests on a tree in the public rights-of-way.

You are responsible for any pest control on rights-of-way trees and a permit is NOT required.

We will answer any questions concerning the pest control.

Know more about trees.

Call Community Forestry.

We will answer your tree related questions to the best of our ability.

Prune or remove any private tree.

Call Community Forestry for advice and a list of City of Boise licensed tree service providers (also on website).

We do not have jurisdiction over private property trees, except Elm trees (see below), unless they present an immediate public hazard. We cannot otherwise inspect private property trees.

Prune or remove an Elm tree (Ulmus spp.) on my private property.

Pruning or removing an Elm tree must be conducted by a City of Boise licensed tree service.

A Forestry Specialist will make appropriate recommendations.

Take an action that might negatively impact the tree, above or below ground, in public rights-of-way.

Call Community Forestry for a FREE inspection

A Forestry Specialist will assess the impact the work will have on the health of the tree and make appropriate recommendations.

Have work done on a tree under a powerline in public rights-of-way.

Call Community Forestry for a FREE inspection.

A Forestry Specialist will assess the impact the work will have on the health of the tree and make appropriate recommendations.

Do work on trees located in Boise's Historic District.

Community Forestry will direct you to Boise Planning & Development Department's Historic Preservation information.

Please visit the  Boise Historic Preservation website for specific information on Boise's Historic Districts and guidelines.


Please contact Boise Community Forestry, (208) 608-7700 or by Email , if you need further clarification or assistance. A complete copy of Boise City's Tree Ordinance along with other pertinent information will be mailed to you upon request.