5th - Alexis Foster
  1. Matthew Nelson

    City Arborist


Manitou Springs Forestry manages the public trees in city parks and street rights-of-way. We are committed to maintaining a healthy and safe urban forest as well as preserving an extensive and diverse tree cover for future generations. A benefit of a healthy urban tree canopy is maximizing the visual, social, economic, health and environmental services this natural resource has to offer for our residents and visitors. These efforts have earned the City of Manitou Springs the Tree City USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation in 2019. 

Tree Care Ordinance

In September of 2022, Manitou Springs City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2022, which establishes standards for tree care on public property.

The effects of this Ordinance are as follows:

  • All planting and maintenance of public trees shall conform to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A-300 Standards for Tree Care Operations International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Best Management Practices, Manitou Springs Organic Land Management Policy, and Manitou Springs Wildfire Mitigation Standards.
  • The City shall maintain an official list of desirable tree and plant species for planting on public property
  • Any person, firm, corporation, or City department performing construction near any public tree must employ appropriate measures to protect the tree and its root system, including, but not limited to, placing barriers around the tree to prevent damage.
  • A tree canopy assessment must be performed at least every five years.
  • It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or the City to "top", damage, remove, or attach a cable or sign to any public tree.

  • The City will maintain a zero net tree loss standard on public property. 

  • The establishment of a Heritage Tree Program.

Trees are significant to the quality of life of Manitou Springs residents, and therefore are extremely important to the City. To protect heritage trees within Manitou Springs, the City launched a Heritage Tree Program that does the following:

  • Increases public awareness of trees in Manitou Springs
  • Draw attention to and protect specific heritage trees in Manitou Springs
  • Encourage public participation in the identification and perpetuation of heritage trees

What is a Heritage Tree?

In Manitou Springs, a heritage tree is a tree that meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Has a diameter at breast height of thirty-six inches or greater.
  2. Has historical significance to a person, place, or event.
  3. Has a distinctive size, shape or location, or is of a distinctive species or age which warrants heritage tree status.
  4. Has special aesthetic qualities for its species.
  5. Is prominently visible to the public, along major roads, or public places.
  6. Possesses rare horticulture or environmental value.
  7. Is not a hazard or obstruction without solutions or alternatives.

How do I nominate a tree into the Heritage Tree Program?

Any individual may nominate a tree into the Heritage Tree Program. To do so, they must fill out a Heritage Tree Program Nomination Form (this form is still being made - please monitor this page in the future for when the form is launched). This form will then be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Please note: The owner of the property on which the nominated tree is located must agree to the nomination by signing the consent statement on the nominating form.

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