Permits are required before planting, pruning, root pruning, or removing trees within the right-of-way.
- The permit system allows the city to provide Controllers with information on correct procedures as well as to maintain current records on the size and condition of Coeur d’Alene’s urban forest.There is no charge for a permit. Apply to the Urban Forestry Coordinator at the Coeur d’Alene Parks office, City Hall, 710 E. Mullan Avenue or call 769-2266. A permit application is available on this web site.
Click here for the Permit form
A permit for the removal of a tree is not generally approved unless:
The condition of the tree constitutes a hazard; the tree is partially dead; or the tree creates a traffic obstruction at an intersection.
- Other considerations include whether the tree size and/or species is appropriate for the location, if there is interference with utility lines, and the condition of the sidewalk, street, and curb.
- When a tree is removed, the stump must be grinded and a replacement tree must be planted in the right-of-way.
- If you are hiring someone to do the work, you must use a city-licensed tree service - all removals must be pre-approved
Public tree removal without a permit is a violation of the city ordinance and can result in a misdemeanor penalty in addition to paying the appraised value of the tree.
Whenever a public tree or shrub is removed, planting of a replacement tree or shrub is required. Coeur d’Alene also has many potential planting spots where trees could be adding to the beauty of our streets.
- Selecting the right tree for the planting spot is very important. The City Council has adopted a list of trees that will grow well in our area and have good street-side habits. Trees on the approved tree list are divided into three size categories: small (under 25’ tall at maturity), medium (25’ – 50’), and large (taller than 50’). Selection of size depends on the growing room available. For instance, only trees from the "small" list can be planted under power lines.
- At planting time, trees to be planted within the public right-of-way must be at least 1 1/2 inches caliper. Caliper measurements are the trunk diameter taken 6 inches above the ground or above the graft.
- An approved tree list and guidelines on spacing, distance from curbs and sidewalks, and tree planting are available from the Parks Department office as well as in the Planting and Parenting section of this website.
Many of the insects and diseases that attack trees and shrubs can be treated by application of pesticides in proper amounts at the proper time. For help with pest identification and treatment, contact the County Extension Service, your local garden shop, or the City’s Urban Forestry Coordinator.
Pruning can help young trees develop into structurally strong trees. It is used in mature trees to thin crowns and remove dead, dying, diseased, obstructing or weak branches. Pruning is also used to provide sufficient clearance under trees for public passage. Branches of mature trees must be trimmed to provide 7 feet of clearance over sidewalks and 14 feet of clearance over roads.
- If you are going to do the pruning yourself, a permit is required. Information on proper pruning will be given with the permit.
- If you are hiring someone to do the work, you must use a city-licensed tree service
- The reduction of total tree size can be accomplished by "crown-reduction" pruning. This method can be performed on public trees only by licensed tree services which have obtained permission.
- "Topping," "hat-racking," "cutting back," or "rounding over" is harmful to the health and safety of trees and is not an acceptable practice to use on right-of-way trees.
- A root pruning permit can be obtained through the parks department. A site visit will be required to determine the extent of pruning needed and possible sidewalk deviations requested to minimize impacts to roots.
Topping is against city ordinance and may result in a penalty in addition to a fine in the amount of the damage and reduced value of the tree. In some cases, severely damaged trees will be required to be removed and replaced.
The City has set up this cost-share program to help to defray some of the costs associated with the care and maintenance of the public trees at single-family residential locations for approved work. Please see cost-share program page for more information.
More information on tree pruning is available from the Parks Department office as well as in the Tree Care section of this website.