Learn about all the Colorado Tree Coalition programs with this narrated PowerPoint presentation created by Susan Hardin.
Awards & Scholarships
The Colorado Tree Coalition is dedicated to preserving, renewing and enhancing Colorado’s valued urban and community forests. The Awards Program wishes to keep this mission in mind and recognize individuals, organizations, businesses, communities and governments involved in unique and unusual projects that have made a positive impact on tree resources within Colorado.
- Identify a project, group or individual
- Submit a nomination with contact information for both the nominee and yourself
- Attach a detailed description of contributions, accomplishments & impacts
- Include supplemental information -- photos, newspaper clippings, videos or other media
Eligible nominations must be involved in tree related themes that focus on CTC's mission statement: preserving, renewing and enhancing Colorado’s valued urban and community forests.
Make a nomination
Nominations can be made by completing and submitting the form below. Please email your supplemental information to Keith Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Colorado Tree Coalition can provide financial assistance for attending conferences and workshops throughout the year. Because of theimited amount of money available, it is required of all who request assistance to follow these guidelines:
- Scholarship requests will be limited to a maximum of $300, and can only be applied to cover registration costs of the event.
- Requests will also be limited to one person per community/group/organization per workshop or conference. Many workshops and conferences now offer concurrent sessions and there is a value to sending more than one person. However, the CTC will not be able to fund more than one person.
- Those receiving scholarships will be required to supply an article or notes to be used in Tree Talk and/or placed on the CTC web site and/or in another electronic newsletter format so others can benefit from the workshop as well.
Scholarship requests can be made by completing and submitting the form below. The request should contain the name and location of the conference, what is hoped to be learned at the event, and how it will be a[pplied in your current position. Your request will be sent to the CTC Board or Executive Board for their consideration.
The board of CTC is committed to education and is seeking additional funds so the scholarship program can be expanded and more people throughout Colorado can benefit from the various educational opportunities available.
Becky Wegner received a Colorado Tree Coalition CommuniTree Award for her work on the Notable Tree Calendar.
“Other holidays repose upon the past;
Arbor Day proposes for the future.”
-- J. Sterling Morton
2014 Colorado Tree Coalition Grant Recipients
As of 2013, the Colorado Tree Coalition grant program has provided over $707,000 to plant 68,600 trees in communities across Colorado since 1991. These grants have been matched with over $7.6 million in community money and/or time.
This year, 2014, 15 grant projects have been chosen for funding thanks to funding from the USFS, CTC, Xcel Energy Foundation, Xcel Energy Vegetation Management and ReForest Colorado.
In total over $47,800 will be distributed in community forestry grants this year.
Regular CTC Grants ($12,990)
The Park People (Denver)
Dundee Memorial Park Association (Westcliffe)
City of Monte Vista
Riverview Elementary (Durango)
Town of Ridgway
Town of Buena Vista
Town of Lake City
CTC ReForest Colorado ($4,000)
Lyons Lions Club
Xcel Energy Vegetation Management ($6,799)
City of Golden
City of Thornton
City of Alamosa
Xcel Energy Foundation ($24,000)
City of Aurora
City of Englewood
City of Northglenn
City of Thornton
Colorado Tree Coalition Tree Grant
Xcel Energy Vegetation Management Grant
2013 Colorado Tree Coalition Grant Recipients
The Colorado Tree Coalition grant program has provided over $696,000 to plant 68,600 trees in communities across Colorado since 1991. These grants have been matched with over $7.6 million in community money and/or time.
This year 19 grant projects have been chosen for funding thanks to funding from the USFS, CTC, Xcel Energy Foundation, Xcel Energy Vegetation Management and ReForest Colorado.
In total over $82,000 will be distributed in community forestry grants this year.
CTC Community Forestry Grant Projects ($20,708)
- CSFS La Junta District
- Institute for Environmental Solutions
- Yampa Valley Sustainability Council
- City of Trinidad
- Town of Fraser
- City of Thornton
- Needham Elementary-Durango
- Town of Olathe
- Town of Walsh
- Fairmount Heritage Foundation
- City of Pueblo
- Palmer Tree Coalition
Xcel Energy Foundation Grant Projects ($24,000)
- City of Littleton
- Highlands Ranch Metro District
- City of Commerce City
- City of Greeley
Xcel Energy Vegetation Management ($3,000)
ReForest Colorado Grant Project ($10,000)
USFS Community Forestry Grant ($25,000)
2013 Xcel Foundation Grant
The Colorado Tree Coalition received $25,000 from the Xcel Foundation for 2013 tree planting projects!
These communities and projects will be the focus of the Xcel Energy Foundation funding for 2013 projects:
1) The City of Commerce City Parks Division has developed a dead and or dying tree replacement program to remove and replace trees throughout the city owned and maintained park and trail system as well as the city building grounds. The City has currently identified approximately 500 trees that are in need of replacement. This inventory is updated annually and funds are requested through the internal capital replacement process. In 2011 Commerce City was able to replace approximately 80 trees. Additional funds from this grant program will assist in meeting the City's goal and help remove and replace 10 additional trees in 2013.
2) The City of Greeley is constructing a natural area park named Homestead Park. The park is located adjacent to Highway 34 just west of The Home Depot. The City has just finished an in-house design for the park and intends to plant 34 of the 52 trees for the site with Xcel Energy Foundation funding. Construction of the park will begin in 2012 and the tree planting project will take place in 2013. The tree planting project at the park will coincide with Arbor Day/week activities.
3) The Highlands Ranch Metro District (HRMD) tree care program is responsible for 16,000 trees in 23 irrigated parks and along parkways. In 2011, HRMD staff replaced 105 trees in parks and 107 trees throughout our parkways system for a cost of $18,000 in trees alone. HRMD will use Xcel Foundation tree planting funds to offset the cost of anticipated tree replacements in 2013 in parks and parkways.
4) The City of Littleton will partner with South Suburban Park & Recreation (SSPR) to install 50-60 shade trees in Harlow and James Taylor Parks in Littleton. The city owns the parks and they are managed by SSPR. The grant funds will pay for tree purchases only and the City of Littleton will plant the trees with volunteers supervised by City horticultural personnel as part of an Arbor Day celebration in April 2013.
CTC grant recipients
Students help plant nursery trees in Cortez, a project funded by Colorado Tree Coalition.
Trees planted at the Ordway Cemetery, with help from a CTC grant.
LaVeta Tree Board received a CTC grant to plant street trees.
Colorado has many large and beautiful trees and The CTC Champion Tree Program maintains records of the largest trees in the state. Each year we accept nominations from rural and urban areas all over the state. The annual deadline is November 1st, and after that the search begins again for even bigger trees.
You don't need to be an expert or a forester to nominate a tree. If you know of a large tree you'd like to nominate, use the links below for more information on how to measure and nominate a tree.
Bring Home the Blue
The Colorado Tree Coalition is offering a $500 reward to the individual responsible for "Bringing Home the Blue." This fantastic reward is available to whoever finds a large enough Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) to dethrone the current National Champion growing in Utah. To claim the reward you must find a blue spruce with measurements that score higher than the 328 points of the Utah interloper: the Utah tree is 127 feet tall with a circumference of 190 inches (over 5 feet in diameter!) and an average crown spread of 43 feet. The current Colorado champion blue spruce is growing in the San Juan Natioonal forest and scores 289 points: Colorado's Champion is 153 feet tall with a circumference of 129 inches and an average crown spread of 26 feet. Colorado is certainly capable of growing the largest blue spruce in the nation and it's likely growing here and just waiting for some "big tree hunter" to find it and claim the prize. Get your boots on, your tape measure and camera in hand and go out there and "Bring Home the Blue," you could claim the $500 reward!
State Champ Registry
The Colorado Tree Coalition Champion Tree Program maintains a database with records of over 700 trees. Trees are listed in the registry by their common names. The listing only includes the general location of the tree. Contact the Colorado Tree Coalition for specific information.
See the two Colorado trees on listed on the American Forests Register of Big Tree in the sidebar on this page.
National Champion Cottonwood Tree has died:
This stately tree, estimated to be over 145 years old, 105 feet tall and nearly nine feet in diameter, has recently met its demise. Read here to find out how they are honoring this large cottonwood.
Our National Champions
The state of Colorado has two National Champion Trees, Visit the American Forests Register of National Big Trees for more information. Colorado's two National champion trees are listed on the on the sidebar to the right.
Nominating a Potential Champion Tree The annual deadline for nominations is December 1. All tree owners must be contacted, and all nominations must be verified prior to nomination submission. Click on the map below to locate the Colorado State Forest Service forester in your area to verify your nomination.
Complete a nomination form and submit it to CTC:
Make sure to fill in the following information:
- Tree identification Identify the tree with both common and scientific name, including genus, species and variety or cultivar designation (if known).
- Tree measurement Take the circumference at 4.5 feet above ground level (in inches), the total height (in feet) and average crown spread (in feet.) For more information, see How to Measure a Tree.
- Exact location of tree In urban areas, include the street address and the location of the tree on the property (backyard, street tree, etc.). In rural areas, include specific directions to the tree, section numbers, GPS or topographical coordinates and location in reference to any highways, trails, campgrounds or geographic features. For all trees, include the county name and nearest municipality. All trees must include a detailed map with specific tree location marked.
- Photographs All nominations must include a color photograph of the tree. Try to place an item (camera case, etc.) next to the trunk as a reference for size. Digital image files of 100k or less may be emailed to Neil Bamesberger. By submitting photos you grant the Colorado Tree Coalition permission to post the images on the CTC website.
- Other information Names and addresses of nominator, owner, verifier, date of measurement, comments on the tree's condition and any other relevant information known.
Your nomination will be reviewed after the annual deadline. If your tree has the highest total points for its type (according to the American Forests formula), you will receive a letter of congratulations and a certificate. If the tree is not the largest, your nomination will be kept on file. If the tree is a national champion candidate, your nomination will be forwarded to American Forests for consideration.
State champion trees should be checked and re-measured at least every 10 years. If you're re-measuring a tree, please send an email to Neal Bamesberger at email@example.com, listing the exact location of the tree, the new (verified) measurements and any other new information about the tree's condition, owners, etc.
How to Measure a Tree
- Using a flexible tape measure, measure the distance around the trunk of the tree to the nearest inch. This measurement should be taken at 4.5 feetabove ground level.
- If the tree is on a slope, use the mid-point of the tree base and measure the circumference at 4.5 feet above ground level.
- If there is a branch or growth on the trunk at 4.5 feet, measure the circumference just below the branch or growth and report the height at which the measurement was taken.
- For multi-stem trees that branch at or below 4.5 feet, measure the smallest part of the trunk and record the distance above the ground at which the measurement was taken.
Height Measurement To measure a tree's height, an Abney hand level, clinometer, or transit is recommended. If none of these are available, you can estimate the height using a straight stick cut to the exact length of your arm. Walk away from the tree to a point where, by holding the stick vertically at armís length, the entire tree's vertical centerline is hidden behind the stick. This method works best when you are at the same elevation as the base of the tree. Measure the distance to the base of the tree -- this distance will be approximately the same as the tree's height.
Crown Spread Measurement Measure both the widest spread of the crown and the narrowest spread of the crown. Add the two measurements together, and divide by two to obtain the average crown spread.
Total Point Value The Colorado Tree Coalition will calculate the official Total Points for each nominated tree.
The total point value for a tree, according to American Forests, is calculated as follows:
Circumference (in inches)
+ Height (in feet)
+ 1/4 Average Crown Spread (in feet)
= Total Points
List of Verifiers
All new nominations must be verified prior to submittal of the form. Visit the Colorado State Forest Service's website for the forester in your area to verify your nomination.
Colorado State Champions
Colorado is proud to have two trees on the American Forests Register of Big Trees.
Common Name: Bristlecone Pine
Circumference: 178 inches
Height: 63 feet
Crown Spread: 41 feet
National Points: 251.25
General Location: San Isabel National Forest
Date Nominated: 2006
Common Name: Singleleaf Ash
Scientific Name: Fraxinus anomala
Trunk Diameter: 16.5 inches
Trunk Circumference: 51.8 inches
Height: 31 Feet
Crown Spread: 15 Feet
Total Points: 86.6
Date Nominated: 1999
Tree Risk Assessment
A hazard tree is a tree with a defect located near a target. Hazard trees are those trees with a structural defect and location that increases the chance of failing and hitting a target. The combination of a defect and target can result in property damage or personal injury.
Urban area defective tree evaluation and analysis
When developing an inspection program, the tree manager is faced with making decisions on where to start. Compounding this effort is the need for wise use of limited funds. The Urban Area Defective Tree Evaluation and Analysis System is a systematic process designed to assist tree managers with initiating tree inspections and prioritizing hazard trees.
Whether inspecting a single yard with multiple trees, developing a street tree inventory, or reviewing large properties, this system will be helpful.
Hazard tree programs should include three steps: identification, documentation, and corrective action. The Urban Area Defective Tree Evaluation and Analysis System evaluates tree species, potential targets, and defects present to identify and document hazard trees. The corrective action will always be the decision of the tree manager!
The system begins with a defective tree rating form to determine the hazard rating of all trees. This inspection may be completed with minimally trained staff. All trees with a high rating are then rated again by a trained arborist or forester using a defective tree priority analysis form. The defective tree priority values assist the manager in developing an action plan. Corrective action should begin as soon as possible, starting with the highest priority and working down the list as funding allows.
Hazard Tree Committee members
- Bill Cassel
- Mike Schomaker
- Ken Wicklund
- Ralph Zentz
Tree Risk Assessment
Tree managers can't plead ignorant when a tree failure causes property damage or personal injury.
Every tree will fail if exposed to the proper conditions!
A notable tree is one that is remarkable or distinguishable in some way, or related to a famous or historical person, place or event. A tree may also be notable if the surrounding community accepts it as being special based upon its species, uniqueness, or contribution to the community. Many of the trees in these tours are notable because they are among the largest of their species in Colorado and are called Champion Trees.
Notable Tree Tours (pdf)
The CTC is no longer producing the Notable Tree Calendar. We had a good 10 year run and we hope to develop a photo book or phone application to replace the calendar in the next year.
Trees across Colorado
Trees Across Colorado helps communities involve volunteers in tree planting. Participating in the program also provides the opportunity for community outreach with information about the benefits of trees, good species selection and proper tree planting and maintenance practices.
We just celebrated the 11th anniversary of Trees Across Colorado!
This Colorado Tree Coalition program helps Colorado communities involve volunteers in tree planting and gives them the opportunity to outreach about the benefits of trees, good species selection, proper tree planting and maintenance practices.
This year on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 16th and 17th (2013), communities that participated in TAC had the opportunity for outreach with information about the benefits of trees, good species selection and proper tree planting and maintenance practices. Seventeen groups from Windsor to Colorado Springs got 1,062 shade trees, including bare root, balled and burlapped and container trees grown in a patented root-pruning pot. Despite snow and bitter cold on Tuesday, groups came to Windsor to unload their trees which fortunately the kind folks in Windsor stored to prevent freezing during transport until later in the week when the groups took them to their communities. As Tuesday warmed, other groups picked up their trees at Arvada and Littleton and on Wednesday in Colorado Springs.
Most of the trees distributed through this program are low water-demand and, at 6-12 feet tall and 1 to 1.5 inches in caliper, are a good size for volunteers to plant. See the order form and descriptions of trees offered in 2014. Organizers included city arborists, Tree Boards, and neighborhood organizations.
For information about the Trees Across Colorado program, please call CTC's Trees Across Colorado Coordinator Gertie Grant at 303-744-3882, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or see the documents below.
Trees Across Colorado
Communities are picking up the trees they ordered through Trees Across Colorado
Colorado Tree Trust & ReForest Colorado
The Colorado Tree Coalition has two established donation funds:
ReForest Colorado: a fund with the purpose of not only helping restore communities affected by natural disasters but to plant trees in areas in need of tree cover in general.
Colardo Tree Trust: an endowment to secure funds for future tree planting and care projects.
In 2002, Colorado witnessed the worst fires season in the states history. In response the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, working with the Colorado State Forest Service created ReForest Colorado, a fund to help replant areas devastated by wildfire. In 2003, ReForest Colorado planted more than 41,000 trees in communities and watersheds affected by the wildfires.
Since then the Colorado Tree Coalition has partnered in these efforts. Additionally the scope of the program has expanded to include communities affected by all forms of natural disasters including hail, snowstorms, tornadoes, and wild fire.
To date funds have been used at Glenwood Springs following the Coal Seam fire, Northern Colorado following the Picnic Rock fire, and the Town of Holly after the tornado. Additionally, following the Hayman fire, funds have been used annually to do restoration work at Cheesman reservoir, a major water source for the Denver Metro area. Plans are underway to assist the Town of Ordway with reforestation funds in 2009.
Following a disaster, rebuilding the lives and the homes of the people affected is, and should remain, our highest priority. But soon people within these areas want to rebuild something else – their community. Be it a neighborhood, a subdivision, a town or a city they want it restored. And more times than not, trees play an important part in the restoring and healing process. ReForest Colorado funds are used in replanting efforts, helping restore the community.
ReForest Colorado and Colorado Tree Trust funds come from individuals, non-profit groups, businesses and corporations. All contributions go to affected communities for tree planting and tree related expenses. If you have a project that needs funding fill out the ReForest Colorado Application and e-mail it to Keith Wood at email@example.com.
If you are interested in volunteering for either of these programs, use the form on the Contact Us page to let us know your interest. Please donations to the Colorado Tree Trust and Reforest Colorado through the CTC Store.
Volunteers helped ReForest Ordway after a fire burned through the community.
Tour de Poudre Bike Ride
The Tour de Poudre is a one-day, bike ride starting and ending at New Belgium Brewery, 500 Linden Street, in Fort Collins, Colorado to raise money for tree planting and tree research. You can choose the longer route -- approximately 60 miles, or a shorter route -- approximately 35 miles. The first ride, The Cottonwood Classic, started in Hygiene, Colorado near the National Champion Plains Cottonwood Tree in 1990. In this, our fourteenth ride, we will ride along the scenic Poudre River and continue fundraising for trees. To date, we have raised ten thousand dollars for trees. Join us and help grow this success!
Registration form will be availble spring 2014.
- $60 per person
- $110 per couple
- $50 per person for a team or family consisting of 3 or more people
Fee includes commemorative event Tshirt for the first 50 participants.
Why ride or support the cause? Besides the food, fun and fellowship with other bike riders, you are also helping to improve community trees both in Colorado and across the world. The rides will take you along the scenic Poudre River trail from Fort Collins to Greeley and back.
Where will your money go? The proceeds from the ride will be split between The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) and the Tree Research & Education Endowment Fund, known as the TREE Fund. The CTC's mission is to lead statewide efforts to preserve, renew and enhance community forests through tree planting grants, workshops and assistance on proper tree care.
The CTC has been supporting Steve Geist, a rider and fundraiser in the STIHL Tour des Trees bike ride and a Plant Pathologist for Denver-based Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care. The CTC has donated thousands of dollars for the TREE fund raised by our bike ride for the last 14 years. Stve will ride in the 2013 STIHL Tour des Trees to benefit the TREE Fund. This year, Geist set and achieved a goal of raising over $100,000 in cumulative sponsorships over his 16 years of participation. The TREE Funds said this makes Geist, "one of our largest all-time fundraisers." For more information read the press release about the TREE Fund and Steve's current goal.
When should you sign up? Today! Space is limited. Registration is on a first come-first served basis. All riders' funds and a list of donors with names and addresses must accompany the registrations, but that doesn't mean you have to pay for it yourself. Ask businesses, friends, family, and co-workers to help sponsor you in the event. Check with your employer, they may be able to help with your fundraising or even match the funds you have raised. If your employer has a wellness program, that might be another source to consider as well. The CTC will provide letters for tax purposes.
The routes The 60 mile ride to Greeley and back sets off at 7:30 a.m. The 35 mile ride to Windsor and back starts at 8:30 a.m. Both rides start and finish at New Belgium Brewery, 500 Linden St. in Fort Collins. Both routes follow the scenic Poudre River trail on mostly paved surfaces to accommodate all bike styles. We will provide detailed route notes and a map for each rider as they sign in the day of the ride.
Tour de Poudre
2013 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride
2012 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride
2011 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride
Bike riders taking a break at New Belgium Brewery, host of the event.
Colorado Arbor day Poster contest
Colorado Tree Coalition Recognizes the 2013 Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner
Max Warnock, a homeschooled fifth grader from Fort Collins has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest. Max’s poster, which depicts the importance of trees and how they benefit our community, will be on display at the State Capitol from April 18th to April 24th, along with the posters of the other fifty-three state finalists. A panel of judges from the Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) selected the winning poster from entries submitted by fifth graders throughout Colorado. The significance of this year’s contest theme, Celebrate Trees in Our Community, was not lost on Max, who drew trees in a park-like setting near a swing set.
Max will be recognized on Monday, April 22nd at 9:00 AM in a presentation near the display of the state finalists’ posters in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. Additionally, Max will be recognized by State Representatives Randy Fischer and Joann Ginal in front of the State House Assembly and by Senator John Kefalas in the Senate Chambers. In attendance will be Max’s parents, Andrew and Krista, ArborScape’s David Merriman, Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) Community Forestry Program Manager Keith Wood, CSFS State District Forester Donna Davis, Colorado Tree Coalition Committee Member Michael McGill, Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest Coordinator Kyle Sylvester, and Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest Committee Member Doug Schoch.
The Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest is sponsored by Arborscape Services, the Colorado Tree Coalition, and the Colorado State Forest Service.
A poster submitted by Danaan Roush of Denver’s Cory Elementary received second place at the state judging.
Submit your 2014 Arbor Day Poster by April 4, 2014!!
The Colorado Tree Coalition is pleased to announce the fourth annual state-wide poster contest. For almost 20 years the National Arbor Day Foundation organized the Arbor Day Poster Contest, but decided to terminate the program four years ago. The Colorado Tree Coalition has decided to keep the contest alive and has taken over the program indefinitely at a State level.
The 2014 CTC 5th Grade Poster Contest winning student will be recognized at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, along with the student's teacher, family members, local legislators and dignitaries. There will be an enjoyable recognition ceremony at the poster contest display, a tour of the Capitol, followed by a fun lunch within walking distance of the Capitol.
All winning posters from each school will be on display at the State Capitol for one week in April of 2014.
Deadline for the posters is April 4th 2014.
Need some tree and forest lessons and activities to help your students create winning posters? The CTC has partnered with Project Learning Tree to provide two activities:
2014 State of Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest Rules
Theme Design Guidelines
- Theme is "Celebrate Trees in Our Community"
- Students will create a poster that reflects understanding of the important role that trees play in our community and how they can be celebrated.
- Things to consider for a poster design:
- Ways in which trees can be celebrated in the community.
- Why trees are important to the community.
- Grade 5 students.
- One entry per school or home school.
- Living in the State of Colorado.
- Write name, age, grade, address, school name and contact phone number on the back of the poster in pencil.
- First and last name must be written in the lower right hand corner on the front of the poster.
- One entry per student.
- Entrants may use marker, crayon, paint pens, watercolor, ink, acrylic, colored pencil, and/or tempera paint.
- Entry size must be 12" x 18."
- Entries must be done on paper that will allow for duplication, display, and framing.
- The poster must be related to the contest theme.
- The poster theme name "Celebrate Trees in our Community" must be included on the poster.
- Care should be taken with how the entry is mailed to ensure the poster does not get damaged.
- Special Note: Entries are the property of the Colorado Tree Coalition and will not be returned.
- Collages. Do not glue anything on the poster.
- Computer or photo generated art and/or printing.
- Should not display names of commercial products, companies or organizations.
- Entries should not be matted, mounted, laminated, framed, or folded
- State Winning Student
- State Winning Teacher
Colorado Arbor Day
2013 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner
2012 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner
2011 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner