Municipal Services Department - Community Forest Program Email


In 2001 the City of Sandpoint took over the responsibility of the streets from the Sandpoint Independent Highway District.  Up to that point the Highway District had been responsible for all the trees in the right of ways along public streets.  During their last year of responsibility the Highway District, its part-time forester Linden Maxwell and its citizen tree committee made significant contributions to the development of a urban forest program to manage the city's right of way trees.

What is a Community Forest?

A “community forest” is ALL the trees in a particular area. Unlike a natural forest, ALL the trees are dependent upon management by humans. Humans affect every aspect of these trees' lives.

What is a Community Forest Program?

A Community Forest Program is concerned with only the publicly owned trees in the parks, street right of ways and other government areas. And, to some degree, the privately owned trees when diseases in privately owned trees threaten the whole eco-system.

A program has a budget, a yearly work plan, a long range plan, goals and a mission.  It is supported by municipal staff and by a local Community Forest Committee or "Tree Committee."  Currently, there are seven members of the Community Forest Committee.

News & Announcements

2014 Neighborwoods Tree Presentation (click here)

Neighborwoods 2015
There will be no Neighborwoods planting this fall (2015).  This year has been exceptionally challenging for trees, the ground is so dry that our local tree nurseries cannot dig up the varied supply required to fulfill the needs of the Neighborwoods program.  The good news is that all of your applications will be kept on file and we will provide a spring planting for you.  Look for an email in the early spring when the ground thaws inviting you to the workshop to pick out your trees.  If you have any questions do not hesitate to call or stop by.

The workshop usually lasts about an hour and half.  The workshop will be led by Sandpoint's Urban Forester Jared Yost as well as local botanist, Bob Wilson.  They will inform participants on how to care for their newly planted trees.  The Neighborwoods trees will be planted by a local nursery either at the end of October or beginning of November.

If you are unable to attend the meeting you can send someone as a substitute in your place.  We do, however, encourage the person that will be caring for the newly planted tree to attend if at all possible.  If you need special accommodations or cannot attend the meeting please give Jared Yost a call 265-1480 to arrange alternatives. Thank you for your interest in Sandpoint's Neighborwoods Program.

Neighbor Woods Program

A city program that seeks to plant new trees in the public right of way in partnership with the public. We try to find the right people (property owners who care about trees and want to care) for the right trees and plant the right trees in the right place (smaller trees under power lines, for example.)  Our goal is to increase the tree canopy in Sandpoint and to provide a legacy of trees for future generations just like the people did sixty to eighty years ago on Sixth Avenue for example (see "Canopy of Maples in Sandpoint" above).

The name "Neighbor Woods" is a gift from the Neighbor Woods Program in the city of Olympia, Washington.  Tree people are sharing people and the urban forestry staff people at the city of Olympia willingly shared their program name as well as their knowledge in helping us get going.

For those interested in the NeighborWoods program, download the application and the NeighborWoods FAQs.  The sooner you get your application in, the more choices you will have for trees.

Unlike as in the previous four years we are now planting just once a year, in the fall which is the best time for most trees to be transplanted.  We will have a workshop in the spring or and then one more in the fall..  Like the other workshops in the past, you will learn about tree care, but this time you will pick your tree(s) from a wide open list from the nurseries in Bonners Ferry.  What that means is that you won't have to wait for your turn to pick the trees you want.  

The deadline for submitting your application to this year's workshop is to be determined.

Call Jared Yost at the city for more information: 265-1480.

See a bit of the program's history at the bottom of this page.


Jeff Jones Town Square Trees - Fall 2011/ spring 2012

The City of Sandpoint ’s Urban Forestry program determined that the nine trees in the south quadrant of the Town Square were dying, and there was no remedy except to replace those trees.

In order replace the trees, the Public Works Department dug up about half of the trees on the outer “ring” of the Town Square.  They removed the concrete, trenched out the dirt, and replaced the weak soil with better soil.  Once the “trench” was filled back in, the Urban Forester oversaw the transplanting of eight new trees, four to five inches in diameter, in the new soil.  The trees selected for transplanting were:  Autumn Purple Ash, Greenspire Linden, Chanticleer Pear and Mancana Ash.

There has been some debate as to what kind of surface--concrete, grass or pavers--should surround the new trees.  At this moment in time, pavers and/or concrete has been chosen by the Public Works committee.  Whether there is dirt under the pavers or structural soil, in any case the new trees will flourish

Call Jared Yost , Urban Forester, at 265-1480 if you have any questions about the tree selection or the use of structural soil.  If you want to read about "Structural Soil" you can go to Second Avenue and read the "placards".  We talk there about the use of structural soil in combination with storm water management.  

Sandpoint's Outstanding Trees

In the fall of 2009 Sandpoint published its 40 page, full color booklet, a photographic tribute to some of Sandpoint's outstanding trees.   Following in the tradition of the Tree Committee and the urban forester in 1999, Ms. Linden Maxwell, that developed  Sandpoint's first "Self-guided Tour" of Sandpoint's trees, this year's committee envisions a new tribute booklet being published every ten years. 

It is a booklet  whose main purpose is to increase people's appreciation and knowledge of our local trees. We need to appreciate the outstanding trees before they are gone.   There are 32 trees represented, each one beautifully photographed, with an interesting detail photo for each tree (e.g., close up shot of a tree's flower or its bark) and about 100 words of description.

Every Sandpoint citizen is entitled to one free copy.  You can pick up your copy at the City Clerk's desk or in the office of the urban forester in the planning department of city hall.  And, everyone can buy a copy or copies at the "general store" at (or ).


New Urban Forestry Ordinance (June 2008)

After years of work, the city has recently passed a new urban forestry ordinance on June 13, 2008. It establishes a full urban forestry program and makes clear what was formerly hazy.  It will be incorporated in the next edition of the city code, but until then here is a copy of the New Ordinance .

Waiting for a green light or "under construction": Tree Photos (May, 2008)

  • We will publish on this web site any (good) digital picture of your favorite tree in Sandpoint.  It can be a privately owned  tree but it should be a picture of a tree that is viewable from public property. Along with information about who took the photo and why you love "your tree" you should give its address.  Call the city forester for more information: 265-1480.

History of NeighborWoods-fall 2008

On the corner of Pine and Jefferson a property owner participated in the first Neighbor Woods tree planting program (fall 2008) and planted six new trees in the public right of way adjoining their property.

We successfully dug holes and delivered about 40 trees to everyone on September 24.  And then on October 28, 2008 the eleven, b&b Tree Lilacs were delivered and planted. We planted a total of 55 trees for our first Neighbor Woods program.

Here's a picture of a successfully planted and staked Thundercloud plum on South Fourth Avenue and a picture of one ambitious property owner preparing a tree for planting (Fall 2008)

Placing the stakes perpendicular to the curb turned out to be a good idea: All the trees survived the five to six feet high piles of city snowplowed snow.  We did lose some Prairie Gem Pears to a cold winter. But, we have replaced those trees in the spring of 2009.

History of NeighborWoods-spring 2009

Our program got more ambitious this spring. We doubled the number of trees we planted.  We also went from about 25 property owners to about 60 property owners participating.  Due to greater numbers of people we had to also schedule two workshops on the care and maintenance of trees and selection of trees.

"Professor" Bob Wilson, former U of I Horticulture Educator,  instructs an interested group on tree care. May 5 workshop. Rich Del Carlo, owner of Peregrine Tree and Landscape, Inc., shows how to prune trees.   May 2 workshop.

Because some of the trees we were able to procure from the nurseries in Boundary Count had a very large caliper (minimum 3") that meant the ball and burlapped root balls were at least 36" in diameter and THAT MEANT the trees weighed 750 to 800 lbs.  There was no way we could expect a property owner could plant his or her own trees.  Last fall, about half of the property owners were able to plant their own trees. Those trees generally came in 15 gallon containers and weighed only  85 to 100 lbs.  Because of the size of b&b trees in the spring, almost all the trees we had procured from the nurseries were too heavy for most property owners.  

So, we decided to hire Mike Powers, Daryle Anderson and Brett Thomson of Bonners Ferry Nursery to transport the 116 trees and to plant them.  They did a great job.  Property owners were amazed at their skills and strength and very pleased with their overall informative and polite demeanor.  

These are the trees we planted this spring (2009):


Tree Species/ cultivar


Tree Species/ cultivar


Amur Maackia


Prunus padus “Merlot”


Paul's Scarlet Hawthorne


Acer negundo “Sensation”


Tree Lilac (syringa pekinensis)


Prairie Ash


Flowering Purple Leaf Plum (Krauter Vesuvius)


Mancana Ash


Flowering Purple Leaf Plum (Thundercloud)


Purple Robe Locust


Acer tatarian (Pattern Perfect)


Elm “New Horizon”


Malus “Spring Snow”


Acer Platanoides  “Fairview Maple”


Malus “Prairie Rose”


Linden “Greenspire”


Pear “Chanticleer”






Scarlet Oak


Pear “Prairie Gem”




Honey Locust “Shademaster”


All these trees come from three of the many, great wholesale nurseries in our neighboring county, Boundary County. Here's a list of the nurseries we used:

Bonners Ferry Nursery , Gene and Pat Andrews.

Apple Creek Propagators , John and Rosalyn Driedger.

Trees R US , Tad and Sheila Hansen.

These three nurseries, as well as a host of others in north Bonner County and in Boundary County, ship trees across the nation.  The soils and plentiful water provide perfect conditions for growing zone 5 and below trees.

Jeanette Ward on Michigan Street joyously watches Mike plant one of her new trees. Karen Bowers on Third Street insists on helping Daryl and Mike plant her new Chanticleer Pear. Susan Auguston with hose on Elderberry Street is ready to water her new "Spring Snow" crab apple tree.  Neighbors Ali Church (and daughter) and Dave Murray wait their turn for tree plantings at their house.

Even more so than in the fall 2008 program, the property owners were extremely appreciative of the NeighborWoods program.  The community forester as well as the tree planters must have heard from 30 people going out of their way to tell them what a wonderful program the city of Sandpoint had.  The Tree Committee and the community forester likewise appreciate those property owners because it is they who have committed themselves to caring for the trees planted in the public right of way adjacent to their property.

Call Jared Yost at the city for more information: 265-1480.

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