Division Services & Information 

The mission of the Bismarck Forestry Division is to manage and improve the health of the urban forest while enhancing the quality of life for our growing community.


  • Landscaping information
  • Planting, pruning, and removal of trees
  • Insects, diseases, and abiotic damage information
  • Urban forestry information
  • Community resources and programs

Boulevard Tree Planting

As we approach fall and cooler weather, it is still a great time for tree planting.  Partners In Planting funds are still available this year on a first come, first serve basis.  Click here for more information on the Partners In Planting program and how to request a boulevard tree planting permit.

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Fall Tree Watering

As we begin to see the tops of trees shutting down this fall, the roots continue to grow. Providing adequate moisture until the soil freezes up can help insulate the roots making them less likely to suffer winter damage that can cause injury or death.  This is true of both evergreen and deciduous trees.  Trees obtain water best when it’s allowed to soak in slowly to depth of 8 to 12 inches.  This can be achieved by use of water bags, sprinkler, soaker hose, a slow running garden hose, etc.  Be sure to water throughout the dripline of the tree. Click here for more information.

Fall Needle Drop

This past year has been tough on trees, especially evergreens. Starting in late August and early September, we often get a lot of calls and emails regarding evergreen needles turning brown or yellow. It’s the older, inner needles that are dying. This is actually normal and can be found in pines, spruces, arborvitae, and sometimes junipers.

 Those older needles get shaded out by the newest growth, and become unproductive. The tree then sheds these needles; we’ve seen this happen as early as August though the situation is starting to increase across the state.

Pines hold their needles for 3-5 years before shedding them. Spruces usually hold on longer, about 5-8 years. What we’re seeing is normal, and it’s nothing to worry about.

*Information obtained from NDSU Extension Forestry

Ponderosa pine in Bismarck showing normal fall needle drop.