Recently, the City of Missoula released the 2023 schedule of leaf pickup for the city. We have the details on what to do and when to do it at this link.

While reviewing the City recommendations, we came across a specific chore that, looking around Missoula, some homeowners may need to take care of before the city comes to pick up their leaves.

The recommendation on the leaf pickup page said this:

Trees must be pruned to a minimum of 14 feet over the street to the inside edge of the curb line (per Missoula Municipal Code 12.32).

Related: What You Need to Know for Fall Leaf Pickup in Missoula 2023

I have a maple tree in my front yard, so when I saw this recommendation, I took note. But I got curious about the Municipal Code that they cited, so I did a little digging, and here's what I found:

12.32.150  Declaration of hazard.

A.  Any woody vegetation, whether on public or private property, of whatever nature, which is endangering or which in any way may endanger the public health, safety, security or usefulness of any public street, public utility line or sidewalk is hereby declared to be a public hazard and may be treated by the City Parks and Recreation Departments.  If the City Parks and Recreation Department determines with reasonable certainty, upon inspection, that any woody vegetation or any part thereof, located on private property, that encroaches into the public right-of-way or renders it dangerous for passage, it shall notify in writing the owner or tenant in charge of the premises.

The code goes on to say that if the owner can't remove the vegetation, the city will work with them to address the situation.

While this part of the code doesn't specifically mention trimming trees to 14 feet above the sidewalk, it can be assumed that the height is necessary, specifically, for leaf pickup so the trucks and equipment can move through each neighborhood, unhindered, to pick up leaves.

What to Do with the Tree Branches?

After you've trimmed your trees, you can schedule a one-time pickup with a local compost company. Missoula Compost offers this service for tree limbs. If the branches are cut to be shorter than 6 feet, they can be taken to Garden City Compost for a fee.

Take a Peek Inside the New Oil & Balsamics Store in Downtown Missoula

Tosca Fine Olive Oils & Balsamics, located on Main Street in downtown Missoula offers bold and rich flavored oils and balsamics.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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