CTC Programs

Learn about all the Colorado Tree Coalition programs with this narrated PowerPoint presentation created by Susan Hardin.




Colorado Tree Coalition CommuniTree Awards Program


“One tree at a time”

The purpose of the CommuniTree Awards Program is to recognize individuals and organizations that epito- mize the mission of the Colorado Tree Coalition through their efforts to ‘preserve, renew and enhance Colo- rado’s urban and community forests’. There are three categories of recognition:

⇒ Distinguished Service Awards are given to recognize a professional community forester and a citizen vol- unteer that have contributed to the health and sustainability of Colorado’s community forests.

⇒ Sustainable Urban Forestry Award is given to an individual, business or organization that has fostered a change in our historical use and appreciation of the value of trees within our communities to create a more sustainable relationship to our urban forests.

⇒ Lifetime Achievement Award is given to recognize an individual whose lifetime of work has unfailingly served to preserve, renew and enhance community forests.

If you know someone you feel meets one of these categories and deserves to be recognized and honored for their efforts please nominate them. Read on for information on the nomination and award process.

Nomination Checklist

  • 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

Award Theme

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 keith.wood@colostate.edu.


The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) provides scholarships to eligible members of the CTC to promote its mission of preserving, renewing and enhancing community forests.

The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) has a limited amount of funds to assist people with registering to attend conferences and workshops throughout the year.  Because of the limited dollars available it is required of all who request assistance to follow these guidelines:

  1. Must be an individual, family or patron CTC member in good standing. Memberships Available.
  2. Scholarship requests will be limited to a maximum of $300, and can only be applied to cover registration costs of the event.
  3. To request a scholarship submit the form below.  At a minimum the request should contain the name and location of the conference and what is hoped to be learned at the event, how it will be applied in your current position, and how it benefits the mission of the CTC.
  4. 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.
  5. Scholarship requests will be reviewed and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee of CTC.
  6. 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.

The board of the 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.


The Colorado Tree Coalition Grant Program is accepting applications now for 2017!

Colorado Tree Coalition Tree Grant

Please note these important criteria for the grant program:

  • The application is electronic.  All applications are emailed: Keith.Wood@colostate.edu
  • The maximum grant amount is $2,000.
  • Grant recipients are eligible for grants every other year. Grants will not be awarded to applicants who won a grant the previous year.
  • Applications from communities serving populations of less than 8,000 people will receive 5 extra points in our grant evaluation process.
  • Applications that address emerald ash borer preparation, education or management will receive 5 extra points in the grant evaluation process.
  • Applications that include a new or updated tree inventory that is uploaded to www.cotreeview.com will receive 5 extra points in the grant evaluation process.

Colorado Tree Coalition Tree Grant Documents

Xcel Energy Vegetation Management Grant

Please note these important details of the grant program:

  • The application is electronic.  All applications are emailed: Keith.Wood@colostate.edu
  • The maximum grant amount is $3,000.
  • A cash match of 25% of the request is required.

Xcel Veg Management Grant

Twenty-five (25) Years of Urban Forestry Funding in Colorado

Twenty-five (25) years ago, the Forestry Title of the 1990 farm bill and the National Tree Trust Act of 1990 increased funding and other support for urban forestry in Colorado, allowing Colorado communities to apply for tree-related grants.

We are highlighting 10 noteworthy grant award recipients who demonstrated the broad impact of the urban forestry efforts in Colorado in cities large and small over the past 25 years.

Visit Colorado Grant Map Tour (http://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/?appid=c439d94c47704b5f9fe861376135256c#info) to learn more.

Colorado Tree Coalition Grant Recipients

The Colorado Tree Coalition awarded nearly $50,000 to 17 organizations in 2016. Along with matching funds provided by the grant recipients this will help plant more than 360 trees in communities across Colorado. Each of these projects allowed residents the opportunity to make a difference in their community with a combined total of 3,117 hours of volunteer service.  CTC grants are made possible through the support of the USDA Forest Service, the Colorado State Forest Service, Xcel Energy Foundation, Xcel Energy Vegetation Management, Colorado Public Radio and our Colorado Tree Coalition members and supporters. Since 1991 the Colorado Tree Coalition has awarded 501 grants totaling over $844,000.  These grants have been matched with over $7.8 million in community money and/or time.  As a result of these grants over 74,110 trees have been planted throughout the state.

Since 2004, Xcel Energy Vegetation Management Program has provided nearly $27,000 for utility tree planting demonstration projects. Since 2011, the Xcel Energy Foundation has provided $150,000 in funded projects.

Check out the 2017 CTC Grant Press Release

2017 Regular CTC Grants ($12,000)

  • Durango Mountain Middle School
  • City of Pueblo Parks & Recreation
  • City of Trinidad Tree Board
  • Institute for Environmental Solutions
  • City of Alamosa Parks & Recreation
  • Yampa Valley Sustainability Council

2017 Xcel Energy Vegetation Management ($4,275)

  • Monte Vista Tree Board
  • City of Grand Junction

2017 Xcel Energy Foundation ($18,000)

  • City of Grand Junction
  • City of Aurora
  • South Suburban Parks & Recreation

CTC Grant Recipients

Needham Elementary School, “Trees are the Answer!” Project–2016

Fort Garland and Revitalization Committee, Tree Replacement and maintenance on Blanca/Fort Garland Cemetery Project–2016

City of Brighton, Tree City USA 30 year Anniversary/ Arbor Day Celebration–2016

City of Greeley, Tree Planting for Aven’s Village at Island Grove–2016

carroll-banner-2222City of Alamosa, Carroll Park Tree Planting–2015

diamond-shoveling-2192City of Alamosa, Diamond Park Tree Planting–2015



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.

Colorado State Tree — Colorado Blue Spruce

The current Colorado champion blue spruce (Picea pungens) is growing in La Plata County about 5 miles northwest of Hermosa, Colorado. The tree scores 323.55 points: Colorado’s Champion is 166 feet tall with a circumference of 149.4 inches and an average crown spread of 33 feet.

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 nine Colorado trees 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 seven (7) 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 nbamesberg871@hotmail.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

Circumference Measurement

  1. 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 feet above ground level.
  2. 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 the trunk is leaning take the measurement perpendicular to the trunk.
  3. If there is a branch or growth on the trunk at or below 4.5 feet, measure the circumference at the narrowest part of the trunk and report the height at which the measurement was taken.
  4. To determine if the tree is a multi-stem form or not, use the pith test. Visualize lines through the center of each of the stems. If they intersect above the root collar or ground level, it would be considered a single trunk tree. Report the height at which the measurement was taken.
  5. If the pith lines intersect below the root collar, then it would be considered a multi-stem tree and only the circumference of the largest stem can be used.

Height Measurement  To measure a tree’s height, an Abney hand level, clinometer, or laser rangefinder 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 arm’s length, the entire tree’s vertical center line 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.

National Champion Trees in Colorado

Colorado is proud to have seven trees on the American Forests Register of Big Trees

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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

risk1_smTree managers can’t plead ignorant when a tree failure causes property damage or personal injury.

risk2_smEvery 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

The CTC Tree Finder app is here!!

Many notable and champion tree locations in Colorado are now accessible on your smart phone. You can download the app for free by going to the Google Play store for android, or the Apple app store for iPhone. Just type in “CTC tree finder” or “CTC treefinder” (with no spaces) and download it for free. It should work on the i-pad as well.

  • For both apps you should be able to pinch and drag with your fingers to zoom in and out of the map.
  • Push on each tree icon to get details of the notable and champion trees
  • You can select “satellite” if you prefer to view the map in the “real world”
  • You can select how many miles you would like to see trees based on your location under “settings” when you open the map
  • All rules and regulations can be found under the “terms of use” at the bottom of the homepage

Please remember this is the very first trial run of the app and there will surely be bugs/glitches that need to be worked out over time. We are already working on version 2.0 where we will add a “search” feature for specific species of trees, and add picture to each point/tree.

Please do not hesitate to express your opinions and thoughts on how we can improve this app for the future. We hope this turns out to be a fun and informative tool for the CTC for many years.

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CommuniTree Award

Peter Schertz received a Colorado Tree Coalition 2017 CommuniTree Award

Tim Buchanan received a Colorado Tree Coalition 2017 CommuniTree Award

Scott Grimes received a Colorado Tree Coalition Lifetime Achievement Award-2016

Donna Davis, Kyle Sylvester, and Doug Schoch received a Colorado Tree Coalition Distinguished Service Award-2016

Ralph Zentz received a Colorado Tree Coalition Distinguished Service Award-2016

Toni Evans received a Colorado Tree Coalition Distinguished Service Award-2016


Trees Across Colorado (TAC), a program of The Colorado Tree Coalition, provided shade trees for the twelfth year to communities to involve volunteers in tree planting this past April. Communities that participate in TAC have the opportunity for outreach with information about the benefits of trees, good species selection and proper tree planting and maintenance practices.

This year, in spite of the recession and budget cut backs, twelve communities picked up almost 700 shade trees on Tuesday April 15th, including bare root, balled and burlaped and container trees grown in a patented root-pruning pot.  The groups came to Windsor, Arvada or Littleton to get their trees.  The groups from Colorado Springs took their trees home from Littleton in a U-Haul.

Many of the trees distributed through this program are low water-demand and, at 5-12 feet tall and 1 to 1.5 inches in caliper, are a good size for volunteers to plant. Low water demand trees offered this year included ‘Hot Wings’ Tatarian Maple, Skyline Honeylocust, Catalpa, Bur Oak, Goldenraintree and Turkish Filbert.  Less common trees included Bigtooth Maple and Ginkgo. Organizers included city arborists, Tree Boards, and neighborhood organizations.

Trees Across Colorado continues to be a successful program in distributing low cost, high quality trees to communities and groups all over Colorado and has been a successful fundraiser for CTC as well, bringing in almost $7,000 in 2014, thanks to volunteer time contributed to the CTC! For information about the Trees Across Colorado program, please call CTC’s Trees Across Colorado Coordinator Gertie Grant at 303-744-3882 or email her at gertiegrant@estreet.net.

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 gertiegrant@estreet.net or see the documents below.

Trees Across Colorado

tac_smCommunities are picking up the trees they ordered through Trees Across Colorado


The Colorado Tree Coalition is a volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission is “leading statewide efforts to preserve, renew, and enhance community forests.” Part of meeting that mission includes assisting communities grow and enrich their community urban forestry programs.

The CTC does this by providing grant money that communities are able to apply for to complete planned projects. Donations from individuals corporations and philanthropic organizations to either the Colorado Tree Trust or the ReForest Colorado funds are directly used to provide these grants. For more information on each fund, please read below.

Colorado Tree Trust:

The Colorado Tree Trust was created in March 1998 to endow the Colorado Tree Coalition and assure the future success of our grants program and other focus areas. A percentage of all memberships and merchandise sales are dedicated to the Trust. The Colorado Tree Trust grows through the financial gifts of individuals, corporations and philanthropic organizations.

ReForest Colorado:

In 2002, Colorado experienced its most severe drought in more than 300 years, triggering the most destructive wildfire season in the state’s history. The 137,760-acre Hayman fire demolished hundreds of structures and killed thousands of trees. To help reforest areas devastated by the Hayman and other fires that year, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, the Colorado State Forest Service and Shell Oil Company pooled funds to help replant trees in wildfire-affected areas, helping Colorado communities replant more than 41,000 trees in 2003 alone.

Since then, the program has come to be known as “Reforest Colorado,” and has been expanded to help community forests recover from all kinds of natural disasters, including wildfires, storms, floods, drought and insect/disease epidemics. In recent years, Reforest funds distributed by the Colorado Tree Coalition have helped the Town of Lyons recover from the devastating 2013 floods and have helped restore the forests of Cañon City following the 3,800-acre Royal Gorge fire.

The Waldo Canyon fire in 2012 was one of the most destructive fires in Colorado history. Reforest Colorado funds paid for 100 replacement front yard trees for victims of this disaster.

The Waldo Canyon fire in 2012 was one of the most destructive fires in Colorado history. Reforest Colorado funds paid for 100 replacement front yard trees for victims of this disaster.

While reestablishing housing is always a priority following a natural disaster, rebuilding a feeling of community is equally vital to a city’s full recovery. Tree planting is an important part of this restoration process, helping communities to restore valuable green infrastructure and recreate welcoming community gathering spaces.

All contributions to the Reforest Colorado fund go directly to affected communities for new trees and planting-related expenses. Funds are managed under the direction of the Colorado Tree Coalition Executive Committee and Board of Directors. To donate to the fund, visit the “Donations” area on the Colorado Tree Coalition store page.

Need Help Recovering From a Disaster in Your Own Community?

Eligible applicants include state and local governments, school districts, community and neighborhood organizations, and private non-profit groups that have the ability to provide a 100% funding match in the form of private/public monetary and/or in-kind contributions.

To apply, please email your completed application form (Click here) along with any supporting documents to Colorado Tree Coalition Executive Administrator Keith Wood at keith.wood@colostate.edu. Applications are accepted year-round.

If your application is approved, funding will be set aside for the project and distributed to you once we receive your completed check request form (to be provided in your award packet).

An expense report detailing actual costs as well as additional documentation of your project’s success must be received within 30 days of project completion. Your contribution of this report – along with project photos, news clips, etc. – will preserve your eligibility status for future grant funding through the CTC. It will also help us to secure additional funding for the Reforest Colorado program through our outreach and marketing efforts.

Reforest Colorado grants are made possible by the support and funding of partners including Colorado Public Radio, Aspen Mortuary, BKI Woodworks, Peaks N Pines Brewing Company and individual donors and members of the Colorado Tree Coalition. Please highlight these organizations, along with the Colorado Tree Coalition, in your promotional materials.

Program Contacts:

Keith Wood

Colorado State Forest Service- Denver




Vince Urbina

Colorado State Forest Service- Grand Junction



ReForest Colorado





Tree loving cyclists enjoyed a beautiful fall ride September 24, 2016 on the 17th annual CTC bike ride ‘Tour de Poudre’. A chilly and damp morning quickly gave way to sunshine and smiles as 29 riders pedaled 1,500 miles and raised nearly $ 6,000 for trees. Sixteen riders went from Swingle Tree in Fort Collins to Rover Run Dog Park and on to Island Grove Park in Greeley and back while 13 folks rode to Eastman Park in Windsor and back to Fort Collins.


Thanks to donations, and our host sponsor Swingle Tree, a light breakfast, lunch and trail snacks kept the riders and volunteers nourished and refreshed. A special thanks to Jannieth Lewis who acquired a ‘Blue Spruce’ sponsorship of $ 1,500 from Banner Health and to Sarah Rickenbacker who also brought in a ‘Blue Spruce’ sponsorship of $ 1,500 from MountainGate Capital. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of ISA contributed $ 500 , Phelan Gardens donated $ 250 and Little Valley Nursery and KRG Capital Partners each provided $ 150 cash donations to help cover expenses.

Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery (FCWN) stepped up and provided trees for planting in Greeley, Windsor and at Odell Brewing in Fort Collins.  Louis Linn and Ross Shrigley from FCWN even delivered and helped plant the Sensation Boxelder at Odell’s. Speaking of Odell’s, they were great hosts after the ride and treated all our riders and volunteers to a refreshing beverage. What’s better than bikes, beer and trees?

The support team was led by Jannieth Lewis who helped with all aspects of ride preparation and support. Other volunteers included CTC Board member Nancy Biekarck and her son Matt, as well as Alison O’Connor, Gertie Grant, Eric Dixon, Danielle Grimes and Susan Hardin. These folks really made a great impression on the riders with their encouragement, smiles and the award-winning banana bread Alison provided in Windsor.  Fresh cookies from Susan Hardin were devoured by the riders upon their return to Fort Collins. Without the many volunteer hours these folks give we would not have this great fundraising ride.  Thanks to all of you!


We’re already talking about the 18th annual CTC ride and want to hear from anyone with ideas on improving upon this year’s success or wanting to help or ride with us. See you next year.







Blue Spruce Premier Sponsor Banner Health

Blue Spruce Premier Sponsor MountainGate Capital
tdpswingleGambel Oak Lead and Host Sponsor Swingle Tree
Gambel Oak Lead Sponsor ISA Rocky Mountain Chapter
Odell logo
Gambel Oak Lead Sponsor ODell Brewing Co.
tdpPGHackberry Team Sponsor Phelan Gardens
Hackberry Team Sponsor Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery
tdpLVWNBigtooth Maple Rider Sponsor Little Valley Wholesale Nursery

Tour de Poudre


2016 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride

2015bikeride2015 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride

2014tourdepoudre2014 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride

2013tourdespoudre2402013 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride

2012BikeRide_sm2012 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride

bike_sm2011 Tour de Poudre Bike Ride

Bike riders taking a break at New Belgium Brewery, host of the event.


The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) is pleased to announce its 7th annual Arbor Day Poster Contest, an artistic competition open to public, private and home-schooled 5th graders across the state. The poster contest strives to increase an appreciation and awareness of the important role that trees play in the environment and in our quality of life.

An entry (one entry per school) from each school will be entered into the state contest to compete with other Colorado schools.

The winning student will be recognized at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver on April 24th, 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 from April 20th to May 1st.

The 2017 theme is: Celebrate Trees in Our Community.

 Entries may be submitted in person or mail to:

Colorado State Forest Service

9769 W. 119th Drive, Suite 12

Broomfield, Colorado 80021

This year, we have expanded prizes for the state winner, which was made possible due to the partnerships with ArborScape Tree Service, and Be A Smart Ash (BeASmartAsh.org), a public education campaign aimed at battling the Emerald Ash Borer.

Deadline for submitting the posters is March 31, 2017.

Please contact Kyle Sylvester, CTC Poster Contest Coordinator, by email at ksylvester@brightonco.gov, or by phone at 303-655-2089 if you are interested in having your school participate this year, or if you have any further questions.


The 2017 theme is: Celebrate Trees in Our Community.

Deadline for submitting the posters is March 31, 2017.

Theme Design Guidelines

Students will create a poster that reflects their understanding of the important role trees play in our community and how trees can be celebrated.

Eligibility Requirements

Grade five students residing in Colorado.

Submission Requirements

  • Must be an original artwork created by a 5th grade student
  • Entries must be done on 12” x 18” paper
  • The poster must relate to the contest theme. “Celebrate Trees in Our Community” must be on the poster; all words must be legible and spelled correctly.
  • Entries may be done in marker, crayon, paint pens, watercolor, ink, acrylic, colored pencil, and tempera paint
  • Entries must be done on paper, which allows for duplication, display, and framing
  • Student’s name, grade, school, teacher’s name and contact phone number must be printed on the back of the poster in pencil
  • Student’s first and last name must be written in the lower right hand corner on the front of the poster
  • Care should be taken to ensure the poster does not get damaged
  • One entry per student

 Special Note: Entries become the property of the Colorado Tree Coalition and may not be returned.

Not Accepted

  • Please do not glue anything on your poster.
  • Computer or photo-generated art and printing
  • Matted, mounted, laminated, framed, or folded entries
  • Names of commercial products, companies or organizations should not be displayed


Winning Student

  • Professionally framed poster
  • Recognition at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, along with the student’s teacher, family members, local legislators and dignitaries
  • Poster will be displayed at the Capitol in April
  • Tour of the Capitol, followed by a fun lunch within walking distance of the Capitol
  • 2017 National and State Parks passes and $250 gift card so the winning student and their family can enjoy a parks-based adventure
  • Pizza party for the winning student’s class

 Winning Teacher

  • Recognition at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, along with the student and his/her family members, local legislators and dignitaries
  • Tour of the Capitol, followed by a fun lunch within walking distance of the Capitol

$500 gift card for school supplies 


Need some tree and forest activities to help your students create winning posters?

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree (PLT) delivers award-winning environmental education curriculum resources and support that can be integrated into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas. PLT teaches students “how to think, not what to think,” about complex environmental issues, and helps them acquire the skills they need to make sound choices about the environment. Grants are available for student projects. While PLT materials are available only at professional development workshops -including our new four hour online workshops – there are a few activities available online at: https://www.plt.org/environmental-education-activity-guide. Visit www.coloradoplt.org to learn of workshops and other opportunities for teachers in Colorado.  Project Learning Tree, a program of the American Forest Foundation, is sponsored in Colorado by the Colorado State Forest Service


 The Colorado Tree Coalition

The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) is a volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to leading statewide efforts in preserving, renewing, and enhancing community forests in Colorado. Working closely with partners such as the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, Xcel Energy, and several corporate and private sponsors, the CTC provides programs and services to communities across Colorado. Programs administered by CTC include the Champion Tree, Tree Risk Assessment and Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest programs.  Additionally, the Trees Across Colorado program provides low cost trees to Colorado communities, and the ReForest Colorado program helps communities recover from natural disasters. CTC is a membership driven organization, and it encourages communities across Colorado to become a member to enhance their chances of obtaining tree planting and maintenance grants.

Be A Smart Ash Campaign

Be A Smart Ash is a public education campaign brought to you by your friendly City Forester, an office within Denver Parks and Recreation. The Be A Smart Ash campaign aims to school up residents in the City and County of Denver on the EAB’s attempt to run amok. The goal? To encourage residents to be smart about their ashes — take action, identify ash trees and (when necessary) treat or replace them. For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer and to learn how to Be A Smart Ash, visit BeASmartAsh.org or follow us on Twitter @BeASmartAsh.

ArborScape Tree Service

ArborScape, Denver’s top quality tree service, is a team of professionals providing value-added tree services to all of our customers. ArborScape is dedicated to providing a beautiful and sustainable landscape for our Denver and High Country clients. By promoting the art and science of horticulture and using the most environmentally friendly products and services available, we help conserve and sustain your neighborhood. For more information, visit Arborscapeservices.com.

If you are interested in having your school participate in the 2017 CTC Poster Contest, or if you have any further questions, contact Kyle Sylvester, CTC Poster Contest Coordinator, by email at ksylvester@brightonco.gov, or by phone at 303-655-2089.


Colorado Arbor Day Poster Contest Past Winners

2016StateWinner copy2016 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner
(Click on picture to see information about winner)

2016StateRunnerup copy2016 Arbor Day Poster Runner Up
(Click on picture to see information about winner)

2015picture2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner