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Boston Named Tree City USA

The City is designated a Tree City for strong and continued investment in its urban forest.

For all of its efforts in 2023, the City of Boston has again earned recognition as a Tree City USA. This designation was given by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the US Forest Service. This award began in 1976 as a way to champion a greener, healthier America at a community level. Over 135 million Americans live in or near a Tree City because of the dedication of municipal employees and elected officials. Boston first achieved the annual designation over 20 years ago and, in order to sustain it, the City has met these criteria:

  1. Maintain a tree board or forestry department
  2. Have a community tree ordinance or municipal code protecting trees
  3. Spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry activity 
  4. Celebrate Arbor Day

In further recognition, the City of Boston has also been given the Growth Award! This award acknowledges efforts that exceed the basic standards for being a Tree City. Stemming from the completion of the Urban Forest Plan, the Parks and Recreation Department invested substantial resources into its urban forestry workforce, services, and the City’s urban tree canopy. The following milestones, among others, contributed to being awarded the Growth Award:

  • Hiring a director, administrative assistant, arborists and field personnel
  • Planting 1,269 new trees, which can be viewed in the Tree Inventory
  • Pruning over 2,500 trees
  • Responding to 7,642 service requests in 3-1-1

These honors are not for the Urban Forestry Division alone, but are shared by all of the dedicated tree activists across the City. The Urban Forestry Division is determined to build on these efforts across all neighborhoods – expanding the tree canopy to bring shade, beauty, and enjoyment to all Boston residents and visitors.

Below are some of Boston's wonderful arborists, tree crew, and volunteers that contributed to Boston being named a Tree City USA.

Four arborists stand smiling around a newly planted tree on an overcast day.


A member of Boston's tree crew is in an aerial lift while pruning a tree with a chainsaw.


A group of volunteers look at a bare-root tree being planted, inspection the height of the root flare.

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