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.


Our Division is responsible for:
  • Landscaping information
  • Planting, pruning, and removal of trees
  • Insects, diseases, and abiotic damage information
  • Urban forestry information
  • Community resources and programs

Featured Topic

Winter Injury on Spruce Trees

We’ve received several reports recently of spruce trees showing browning needles, but often without a specific pattern to the damage.  A number of potential causes have been identified.  Biological problems have included Valsa canker (formerly Cytospora canker) of spruce, an insect called spruce bud scale, and one of the needlecast diseases.  Other pests such as spider mites or pine needle scale may play a part in the damage to certain trees, though we haven’t specifically seen them on any given tree yet.  Environmental problems such as the recent drought and the challenging winter have exacerbated the problem.  Read on for the full article written by Joe Zeleznik, NDSU Extension Forestry Specialist.

Spring News

  • Elm tree concerns- Dutch elm disease and European elm scale are two insect/disease problems to look out for on your elm trees this spring.  

    Dutch elm disease (DED) is caused by the invasive fungal pathogen, Ophiostoma novo-ulmi.  It is spread by the Elm bark beetle or from tree to tree through the roots.  The first sign of DED is often wilting and yellowing of leaves or branches in the outer crown of the tree.  Click here for more information about DED from NDSU Extension.

    European elm scale is most noticeable by the appearance of honeydew or black mold on the bark of the tree.  Heavy infestations can cause premature yellowing and shedding of leaves and killing of twigs and branches.  For more information on this insect, click here for an article from CSU Extension.

  • The Partners In Planting Program is available again for 2022. This cost share program is made possible by community minded sponsors that have partnered together with the City of Bismarck to provide funds for a matching grant to help homeowners plant street trees. This grant offers a direct reimbursement to citizens and businesses who plant trees in the City’s boulevard area adjacent to their property. 
  • Beginning April 1, 2022 the following species of the genus Acer (maple) planted on the boulevard will not be eligible for reimbursement through the Partners In Planting program (PIP).  

    Freeman Maple (Autumnblaze, Sienna Glen, etc.)

    Norway Maple (Deborah, Royal Red, etc.)

    Red Maple (Northwood, Scarlet Jewel, etc.)

    Sugar Maple (Fall Fiesta, Unity, etc.) 

    Each year maple species trees are one of the Forestry Division’s top removals typically due to death or decline.  Reasons for death or decline of maple in Bismarck are due to intolerance of our alkaline soils as well as questionable hardiness in some areas of the City. Our desire for newly planted street trees is that they will grow to maturity and provide maximum benefits for years to come.  Currently, most maple trees do not provide the optimum desired outcome.