#TreeCityUSATuesday

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore has been designated a Tree City USA community for 31 years and awarded the  Growth Award 14 times.

Baltimore MDBaltimore is home to more than 600,000 residents, and adorned with more than 2.8 million trees throughout the city.  Harboring the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic, Baltimore also boasts a vibrant cultural arts scene.

In addition to the arts, the city offers an array of outdoor activities including the Cylburn Arboretum, so you can brush up on your tree knowledge as you discover this city park. The arboretum isn’t the only place Baltimore houses trees; the city has a current canopy of 27% with a goal to reach 40% tree canopy coverage.

Baltimore’s urban canopy saves the city $3.3 million in energy costs and removes 700 tons of air pollution annually, totaling $3.8 million in air filtration cost savings. The benefits provided by the urban forest are so great that it has a replacement value of $3.4 billion.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Jerry Brown, Governor, State of California

Sacramento, a Tree City USA community, is known as the “Tree Capital of the World.” It’s also where Governor Jerry Brown presides as the leader of California state government.

DT Sacramento CAGovernor Brown has played a key role in establishing community forestry in California.  During his first term, The Urban Forestry Act of 1978 created an urban forestry program through state law, allowing California’s Depart of Forestry and Fire Protection – also known as Cal Fire –  to “implement a program in urban forestry to encourage better tree management and planting in urban areas.”

Since again becoming Governor in 2011, Brown has continued his legacy leading to historic funding levels for California’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In 2012, Assembly Bill 1492 provided the first and only sustainable revenue source in support of urban forestry — up to 30 million dollars annually.

In 2013, Brown put his stamp on a Three-Year Investment Plan that highlights urban forestry as an investment area for greenhouse gas reductions, improved public health, and environmental justice.

Gov Jerry Brown

California Governor Jerry Brown with his father, Edmund “Pat” Brown, Governor of California from 1959 to 1967, at Echo Summit/Desolation Wilderness

Always steadfast to his commitment to support urban forestry, Brown signed a state budget on June 20, 2014 containing 17.8 million dollars for Cal Fire’s Urban and Community Forestry Program – the largest one-year, single-state allocation for urban forestry in the entire history of the United States.

Governor Brown continues to highlight the value of community forests, noting, “Trees provide shelter for us and birds and wildlife. They give us shade and conserve our soil. We harvest fruit from trees and at the same time enjoy their beauty. We plant trees not only for the benefit of this generation but as our gift to posterity.”

As Jerry Brown enters his fourth and final term as Governor of California, the future of urban forestry is bright.  Through Governor Brown’s actions, California has a successful Urban and Community Forestry Program, a tax to support it, and a revenue source to support greenhouse gas reduction projects and benefit disadvantaged communities.  Governor Jerry Brown is indeed a true Champion of Trees.

California Governor Jerry Brown is the recipient of the 2015 Champion of Trees Public Service Award. This year’s Arbor Day Award ceremony will be held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, located at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Saturday, April 25.

Do you have an Arbor Day Foundation story that you’d like to share?  Please tell us all about it in the comments section below.  We’d love to hear it!

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#TreeCityUSATuesday

Charleston, SC

Charleston has been designated a Tree City USA community for 34 years and awarded the  Growth Award once.

Charleston SCWith a population nearing 130,000 people, Charleston’s southern charm and rich history attract thousands of visitors every year. In 2011 Travel + Leisure named Charleston “America’s Most Friendly” city, and in 2013 & 2014, Conde Nast Traveler ranked Charleston the #1 city in the US. This Southern city offers numerous outdoor sports, and great cuisine options. In addition to its tourist attractions, Charleston also places emphasis on its urban forestry with more than 15,244 public trees inventoried and maintained by the city, in addition to 35,000 trees located in parks and open spaces.

Angel Oak Tree

Angel Oak Tree, Flickr Jameel Winter

In addition to the city’s American history, Charleston also holds some of the country’s richest tree history, including the Angel Oak tree— estimated to be more than 1,400 years old— as well as Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.

So just how do these trees benefit the city? Charleston’s urban forest saves $171,406 in stormwater management costs and accumulates energy savings of $120,991. Additionally, the urban forest removes 6,104 pounds of pollutants from the air annually.

Charleston’s urban forest provides benefits to the city valued at $717,034.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Emi Lutz, Bellevue, Washington

Emi Lutz

Trees Inspire Career Path

High School senior Emi Lutz of Bellevue, Washington — a Tree City USA community — compiled a guide to the plants of Lewis Creek Park with great enthusiasm. The guide was Emi’s senior project and part of Bellevue’s Well Kept Program, offered by the city’s Parks and Community Services DepartmentNatural Resources Division.

The 85-page, full-color guide highlights plants ranging from the Douglasfir to the slough sedge. More importantly, the experience stimulated Emi’s conservation ethic and led her to the University of Washington where she is studying for a career as a biologist.

Emi Lutz Bk“Through working in the Well Kept Program and leading nature walks with residents, I realized that I enjoyed sharing my interest and knowledge of the outdoors and trees with others,” said Emi.

The Well Kept Program offers summer park employment that teaches life skills, provides environmental education, and instills young people with self-esteem and good work habits. This opportunity and support from the Bellevue’s Parks and Community Services Department provided Emi with the training and experience that helped forge her current academic and eventual career path.

Emi Lutz Group“It was fun to teach both kids and adults and watch them learn and start caring for the environment,” she adds.

Do you have an Arbor Day Foundation story that you’d like to share?  Please tell us all about it in the comments section below.  We’d love to hear it!

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#TreeCityUSATuesday

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington has been designated a Tree City USA community for 22 years and awarded the  Growth Award four times.

Wilmington DEHome to 70,000 residents, Wilmington is a warm community situated at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek. Despite its modest size, Wilmington places importance on its urban forestry program, with more than 136,000 trees throughout the city and 16% tree canopy coverage.

Wilmington has a fair ethnic population, contributing to its cultural diversity. You can attend a number of cultural festivals in the summer including Italian, Greek, Polish, or African and enjoy traditional music, food, and activities.  While roaming downtown you’ll appreciate that Wilmington’s urban forest removes 45 tons of air pollutants a year, saving the city $291,000 in air filtration costs. In addition, the city’s trees reduce energy costs by $183,000 annually.

Wilmington’s urban forest has a structural value of $166 million.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

RonDell Pooler, Washington, District of Columbia

Rondell PoolerRonDell Pooler, a resident of the Tree City USA recognized community of Washington, D.C., leveraged a valuable training opportunity when he registered with DC Green Corps, a green jobs program that provides career training and guidance for underemployed Washington residents. DC Green Corps training focuses on new tree planting and maintenance, park management, and volunteer supervision.

As part of the program, RonDell participated in a 12-week training course supported by the District of Columbia Department of Transportation’s Urban Forest Administration and the U.S. Forest Service.

DC CorpsNow a proud graduate of DC Green Corps, RonDell works for a nonprofit organization leading volunteer projects, monitoring trees and park conditions, and supervising trainees.

“Forestry programs have had a great impact, not only by giving me a job but real skills,” said RonDell. “It has also helped me become more conscious of the community and my neighborhood.”

The generous support from the D.C. Urban Forest Administration and the U.S. Forest Service helped to make this successful program possible, and provided the valuable opportunity to encourage local community forestry leaders like RonDell Pooler to engage in the active stewardship of Washington’s trees now and into the future.

Do you have an Arbor Day Foundation story that you’d like to share?  Please tell us all about it in the comments section below.  We’d love to hear it!

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#TreeCityUSATuesday

Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach has been designated a Tree City USA community for 35 years and awarded the  Growth Award twice.

VA Beach VAHome to more than 400,000 residents, Virginia Beach is a resort city attracting tourists to its miles of beaches and outdoor activities. If you’re ever visiting you may spend your evenings watching outdoor entertainment or enjoying any of the numerous art museums. The city is taking initiative in its urban forestry, with more than three million trees scattered throughout, comprising a 36% tree canopy coverage. The city continues to improve its greenery; it has set a goal to reach 45% canopy coverage during the next 20 years.

In addition, Virginia Beach’s urban forest removes nearly 900 tons in air pollution saving the city $4.5 million in air filtration costs. Rainy days aren’t a problem, as the city’s trees save more than $1.5 million in stormwater management. The city’s urban forest has increased property value by $109.5 million annually.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Spring into action! Are you ready for the spring planting season?

Spring is nearly here and we couldn’t be more excited. Soon we will be enjoying the beautiful colors and fragrances of spring trees and shrubs – like the dogwood, Japanese flowering cherry and of course the lilacs.

Japanese Cherry Bloss

Japanese flowering cherry

Now is the perfect time begin your spring planting planning and ordering! The Arbor Day Foundation Online Tree Nursery has a large array of affordable trees and shrubs. You will find fast-growing trees, flowering trees, fruit trees and every tree in between. And we will send your trees to you during the optimal time to plant in your zone, ensuring their health and longevity.

Or maybe you need some landscape design inspiration? Arborday.org has free, professionally designed landscape plans that focus on trees and shrubs, available to download for free. For example, we have a plan called flowering green giant, this a design plan combining a beautifully contrasting trio of trees—the rich green of a green giant arborvitae, the sprightly, springtime yellow of forsythia, and the dazzling profusion of white blooms that grace the yoshino cherry tree. Other designs include the a bird-attracting tree/shrub combination (Bird Magnet Hedgerow), a blooming shrub plan set beneath an existing shade tree (Shrubs Under a Shade Tree) , a flowering tree/hedge plan planted along an existing wood line (Flowering Woods Edge) – just to name a few.

Bird Magnet Design

Bird Magnet Hedgerow Design

If you already have your trees and are ready to plant consider reading our 9 Tree Care Tips & Techniques, an easy-to-follow guide that takes you step by step from selecting and planting the right tree, to the care and upkeep of a mature tree. Remember, what you do to your tree in its first few years of life will affect its shape, strength, and even its life span. Planting done with care and some knowledge of trees and their needs will help your trees grow more rapidly and live at least twice as long as improperly planted trees.

Finally, before you get that hole dug and your new tree planted, make sure you’ve got “Right Tree in the Right Place.” Planting an appropriate tree in an appropriate location is vital for the health and longevity of the tree as well as your satisfaction with it—for example, a tree too close to the house could be a hazard, and a tree with “too-tall” potential will be unlikely to remain if it interferes with a power line overhead.

Right Tree Right Place

Are you gearing up for spring planting season? What do you plan to plant this year? Please let us know in the comments.

Linda Jark, Chapman, Kansas, Tree Board Chair

On the night of June 11, 2008, a deadly tornado struck Chapman, Kansas, leaving behind a trail of devastation. Much of the tree canopy in the heart of this farming community was destroyed.

KS plantingTo exacerbate the difficult situation, Chapman had no organized community forestry program. That’s when the Kansas Forest Service got involved. A community forester at Kansas State University took initiative, promptly contacted Chapman city officials, and generously offered technical assistance to help the community address the storm’s aftermath.

During the next several years, the Kansas Forest Service helped start a tree board and guided an inventory of the community’s trees. Information from the inventory helped leverage Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance to remove irreparably damaged and destroyed trees and to guide a new tree planting strategy.

Linda JarkLinda Jark was eventually appointed chair of the new tree board. She is quick to praise the assistance that Chapman received after the tornado. For her, this made all the difference.

“Thanks to the Kansas Forest Service, we got the right information and recommendations,” said Linda. Chapman’s community forestry program is now thriving and continues to grow.  In addition, Chapman is now a proud Tree City USA recognized community.

“Now it’s starting to show,” said Linda. “We have growth. The community forestry program is in the public eye.”

Do you have an Arbor Day Foundation story that you’d like to share?  Please tell us all about it in the comments section below.  We’d love to hear it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Providence, RI

Providence has been designated a Tree City USA community for 28 years and awarded the  Growth Award twice.

Providence, RIHome to more 180,000 people, Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States, offering a bit of historic charm mixed with modern culture. The city is branding itself as a creative hub with a thriving arts community, diverse architecture, and notable universities, including the Rhode Island School of Design.

Providence is also setting an example in its urban forestry. The city has 415,000 trees with 24% tree canopy coverage. Additionally, the urban forest removes 91 tons of air pollutants every year, saving $3.5 million in air filtration costs.

The urban forest also comes in hand during times of rainfall, intercepting 31.5 million gallons of stormwater runoff, saving $281,000 in stormwater management costs. Additionally, the city boasts $591,000 in annual energy savings.

Providence’s urban forest is an asset valued at $582 million.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!