Urban Forestry

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Sandy City has been named a Tree City USA community by The National Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry.

Urban Forestry History

Urban forestry, also known as "community forestry", is the management of trees and shrubs on public lands in an aesthetically pleasing and healthy manner. The healthy manner refers not only to the vegetation, but also the citizens living in this urban setting. Our citizens must remain safe from hazards caused by the urban forest. Public lands, by definition, are those areas owned or maintained by the local government entity, but by nature, the scope of the urban forest extends into the private sector as well.

Sandy City's new Tree Ordinance, enacted in January of 2002, helps clarify the responsibilities of private citizens as well as the City. The new ordinance defines problem areas that affect public safety and designates who holds the responsibility to alleviate these unsafe conditions. The Tree Ordinance also provides guidelines for pruning heights along sidewalks and streets for both City workers and homeowners to use to keep these right-of-ways free of vegetation.

Much of Sandy City's charm and character are the results of the beautiful urban forest planted on private residences by Sandy's citizens. The parkstrips in front of most Sandy homes is the area where public lands and private ownership merges. These parkstrips and the trees in them are owned by Sandy City but are planted and maintained by Sandy's homeowners. It is the homeowner's responsibility for the selection and maintenance of their parkstrip trees. It is our goal to keep Sandy's entire urban forest wholesome and beautiful.

The right tree for the right place is a widely used urban forestry axiom. In the close and restricted areas that City crews have to maintain around park strips and along roadways, tree selection for parkstrips has become a necessary part of Sandy's development code. Also, in the tight confines most residents in Sandy have to work within, proper tree selection can be a critical factor in their future relationship with trees.

The main focus of my job as Sandy City's Community Forester is not to drive around and police the tree selection and pruning practices of the City's homeowners, but to provide the education necessary to keep Sandy's urban forest vibrant, thriving and user friendly. We need our citizens to participate in learning about the right tree for the right place, proper pruning to keep trees healthy and safe, and understanding that we can make our landscapes less water dependent by keeping trees in natural areas and reducing the amount of blue grass in our yards.

Heritage Trees

Sandy City is very proud of the diversity and size of our tree population. We would like to recognize trees that stand out because of their size, unique species, or their historical importance. Anyone can nominate a heritage tree. The criterion for a Heritage Tree is that:

  1. Tree must be accessible for a street view (Front or side yards, Public trees etc.)
  2. Tree has to be of a unique size, species, or of historical value
    • Size includes both height and diameter at breast height (dbh)
    • Species and cultivar should be included if known
  3. Address or location of tree must be included & Pictures are very helpful
  4. Property owner consent is necessary for privately owned trees

To nominate a tree for Heritage Tree Status Please fill out this form and submit to Sandy City Parks Department 440 E. 8680 S. Sandy UT. 84070 or you may email it. Sandy City has already identified many outstanding trees in our community on public lands. To obtain locations of these trees click here.

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