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Ash Tree GAP Removal & Replacement Program
Ash Tree GAP Removal & Replacement Program

Denver’s Office of the City Forester created a program in 2020 to remove and replace small ash trees in the public right-of-way. Removing and replacing these ash trees is yet another tool that Denver’s Be a Smart Ash team is using to help slow the spread of and reduce the impacts from the emerald ash borer. Please read the information below about the program and contact us atforestry@denvergov.orgif you have any additional questions. 

August 2022 Update: We are experiencing delays with GAP Program removals. Thanks for your patience. 


Why will this tree be removed?

The ash trees are at risk for an invasive insect called Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) that kills the trees very quickly. Removing smaller ash trees will slow the spread of the destructive insect.

What is the cost?

The tree removal, stump grind, and replanting of a new tree is at no cost to the homeowner.

Which tree will be removed?

Homeowners eligible for right-of-way removal and replacement of their ash trees will be contacted by the Office of the City Forester. Only select small (12 inches or less in DBH) ash trees in the public right-of-way (PRW) will be removed. The PRW is the area between your property line and the street owned by the City of Denver. If you feel that you have a small condition ash tree that is eligible for this program, please email for more information.

When will the tree be removed?

The Ash GAP removal and replacement program began in the winter of 2020. The program will work throughout the city on an on-going basis. Homeowners who apply and are eligible should provide their contact information in order to receive up-to-date information about the process timeline.

March 2022 Update: We are experiencing delays with GAP Program removals. Thanks for your patience.

What about the stump?

The tree and the stump will be removed by our contractors.

Can I opt-out of the program?

It is expected that the trees will decline in the near future with the arrival of Emerald Ash Borer. The homeowner will have to pay for the tree removal or treatment at a later date themselves if they choose to opt-out of the program.

Can my other trees be removed?

All eligible ash trees in the public right-of-way of each property will be removed.

Can you remove my private property tree?

No, only ash trees in the public right-of-way are eligible for this program.

Can I treat the tree?

It is best to remove the tree while it is small and plant a replacement tree that will be less costly over its lifetime and have a greater chance of survival. Please click here for treatment options.

Replacement Tree

How do I apply for a replacement tree?

Please indicate that you would like a free replacement tree on your Ash Replacement Program application.

Do I have to get a new tree?

Only homes that opt in to the Be A Smart Ash replacement tree program will receive a new tree. Homeowners can opt-out of our free tree program at any time. However, there are many benefits to new trees. The new tree will be at no-cost to the homeowner, and the City of Denver will even water the tree(s) for one year.

What type of tree will be planted?

It depends on availability, but our foresters pick out trees that are best suited for the location.  The tree is selected from this list of city-approved street trees.

When will a new tree be planted?

Replacement tree(s) will be planted as soon as possible after the tree removal if there is adequate space for a new tree. Spring planting cycles typically last from April to July and fall planting cycles typically run from September to November.

Will the new tree be planted in the same spot?

Any new trees must meet our spacing requirements and will be sited by our foresters for distance from stop signs, water meters, driveways, etc. Click to learn more about the space needed in the right-of-way.

Can I get more than one tree?

We hope so! We will place as many new trees as there is space for in the public right-of-way.

Will you plant on my private property?

No, Denver Forestry only plants in the public right-of-way.

Reuse My Tree

Have a tree on your property that needs to be removed? Want to turn that tree into a beautiful table, door or even a bicycle instead of sending it to a landfill? You’ve come to the right place!

Denver has a dire need for urban wood utilization, which is a fancy way to say we’re looking to turn more of our trees into functional products if/when they’re removed. That need has been magnified since the 2013 discovery of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Boulder, which poses a direct threat to Denver’s ash trees. Protecting our urban canopy from EAB unfortunately means removing some of our ash trees. And since 1 in 6 trees in Denver is an ash, that means a large amount of trees will end up in landfills if we don’t find a higher purpose for this wood. Here’s the good news: Working with a local arborist or woodworker to reuse your urban tree not only benefits our local environment and economy, it can benefit your home and business, as well!

Raring to reuse your tree? Watch the video above and check out the information below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of trees can be turned into valuable wood products?

Typically, you’re looking for sound wood from trees that are 1 to 3 feet in diameter and 6 to 16 feet long. But many woodworking operations, such as Wood in 2 Wood featured in the video above, can work with even smaller trees – turning them into unique bowls, cutting boards and other products.

Is reusing my tree worth the effort?

It’s important to note that urban wood is worth more than lumber from non-local or mass-harvested sources due to its unique features and character. For instance, the wood from Russian Olive trees, which are so common in parts of the Metro Denver area that they’re considered weeds, display very appealing colors and patterns after being milled. Some might consider these trees trash. Woodworkers consider them treasure.

Which tree companies can I hire to utilize my urban wood?

There are many, but a few include 303 TreeA Cut AboveHelping HandLovett Tree Company and Taddiken, as well as many of the companies listed below.

Getting Started

Have other questions like who can safely remove your tree, where you can take your wood for milling near Denver or how much you can save by hauling logs to a mill instead of a landfill? Feel free to get in touch with any of the helpful folks below who helped us launch this project:

Are you an arborist or a woodworker? Want to be included on this list? Click here to email us!