Pruning Programs

Pruning is the most important tree maintenance activity. It reduces crisis management situations and improves the overall health, safety and beauty of Boise's community forest. By Boise Tree Ordinance routine pruning is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. However, the Boise City Council does provide limited funding for pruning programs. Community Forestry relies on three pruning resources:

  • Contract Pruning
  • Community Forestry staff
  • Volunteer Tree Steward program

*Home owners may also acquire a free permit to hire a Boise City Licensed Tree Service to prune trees at their expense.

City Pruning Cycle

Our pruning program systematically cycles through the entire city section by section; the current tree pruning cycle is about seven to eight years. This work is done on public rights-of-way and park property and consists of hazard reduction and clearance pruning. This pruning is performed only on those public property trees that pose the most serious hazard as determined by a Community Forestry Specialist.

Hazard reduction pruning is the removal of branches from the tree that are dead, dying, broken, decayed or otherwise hazardous to the public. Clearance pruning is the removal of branches from the lower part of the canopy to a height,that allows for vehicular and pedestrian travel. The District Map shows the districts in which the city is divided and the approximate year pruning is scheduled.

Outside of the city pruning cycle, per Boise City Tree Ordinance, any pruning requests that are deemed routine maintenance pruning are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. This includes clearance for vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Responsibilities of Adjacent Property Owners

Pruning Cycle and District Map

The introduction of hazard reduction pruning has proven to be successful in reducing the number of large fallen limbs ("limb calls") that Community Forestry staff responds to each year.

Staff pruning a tree in downtown boise

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