Overview

Trees provide many benefits to our community, such as improving water quality, reducing stormwater runoff, lowering summer temperatures, reducing energy use in buildings, reducing air pollution, enhancing property values, improving human health, and providing wildlife habitat. However, tree canopy (the leafy area of the trees) can be challenging to maintain and manage in a highly built out environment like Cambridge. Between 2009 and 2014, we lost some of our trees as a result of property developments and through natural aging.  The City periodically analyzes our tree population so it can develop strategic maintenance and planting programs.

 

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Percent Tree Canopy

Percent tree canopy describes the proportion of the total land that is covered by tree branches and leaves.

    Charts & Graphs

    The City of Cambridge has 4,562 acres of land within its boundaries. Tree canopy covered 30% of Cambridge land area in 2009, but in the following five years, about 100 acres of canopy was lost, bringing the total area covered down to 28%.

    Every neighborhood in Cambridge lost some tree canopy between 2009 and 2014. The most impacted neighborhoods were East Cambridge and Agassiz.

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    • See a tree you like in Cambridge and want to know what it is? Then check out our Tree Map!

    Learn What The City is Doing to Protect our Urban Forest

    Cambridge Parks and Urban Forestry is responsible for caring for over 19,000 public trees. This program includes planting, pruning, and responding to service requests and tree-related emergencies. These efforts have been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation, which recently awarded Cambridge the Tree City USA award for the 23rd consecutive year, as well as its more prestigious Growth Award for the 8th consecutive year. The Urban Forestry Division provides high quality tree care and planting on City streets, in parks, and around public buildings.

     

    Learn how the City maintains, manages and develops our urban forest by reading our Urban Forest Management Plan. We are currently in the process of completing our Urban Forest Master Plan. We anticipate its release later this year.

     

    How You Can Help Our Urban Forest

    • Keep your trees healthy

      Do you have a tree that doesn’t look all that great? Then visit our website to learn more about how to prune, remove the tree, pests and other tree maintenance. And always remember, when in doubt, call a certified arborist!

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    • Plant a tree!

      If you want a tree planted on your property then call the City Arborist, 617.349.6433 to see what can be done!

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    Recent Updates for Cambridge
    Curbside Composting Starts in April!

    The Curbside Compost Program will expand to all buildings with 1 to 12 units on April 2. Food scraps and compostables will be picked up weekly on the same day as trash and recycling.

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    City of Cambridge- Celebrating One Year as a Five Star Community

    One year ago, the City of Cambridge confirmed its role as a leader on sustainability by earning a Five Star Rating from Star Communities. Cambridge received the highest score of any city in North America.

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