Our Urban Forests
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.
Percent tree canopy describes the proportion of the total land that is covered by tree branches and leaves.
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%.
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!More Information
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!More Information
- Inside Climate News
- Wicked Local
- Green Biz
- The Guardian