Arbor Day / Tree City / Ordinance Tutorial / Awards / Inventories / Homeowner Info
Thousands of communities across the country consider their tree canopy a source of pride and continuously strive to improve it -- and they're garnering national attention and recognition for it through the Tree City USA program.
Founded by the Arbor Day Foundation in 1976, the Tree City USA program provides assistance and recognition to incorporated communities and military bases that maintain a continuously-active tree management program. Cities of any population -- from less than 100 to more than 1 million -- can qualify.See if your Texas community received the Tree City USA designation.
Tree City USA Enrollment Criteria
Standard 1: A Forestry Department or Tree Board Your community must maintain a professional staff arborist or forestry department or have a tree board - or both. A tree board is a group of concerned citizens, usually volunteer, charged by ordinance to guide a comprehensive city tree management program.
Standard 2: A Public Tree Care Ordinance The ordinance should determine public tree-care policies for planting, maintenance and removals. Check out this Model Public Tree Care Ordinance Tutorial to review an ordinance and/or create your own.
Standard 3: A Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at Least $2/Capita To be designated a Tree City USA, a community annually must spend at least $2 per capita for its forestry program. In determining the size of your community's budget, consider all funds spent for tree care. Along with the budget for the street tree department or board, include items such as the park department's tree expenditures, dead tree removal and other labor and administrative expenses associated with the management of the city forest. Many communities find that they already are spending far more than $2 per capita. Download a budget worksheet.
Standard 4: An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation The city or town council that oversees your community must issue a proclamation declaring the observance of Arbor Day in your community, and an Arbor Day celebration must take place. Download a sample proclamation.
Download the Tree City USA information packet.
New ApplicantsAfter meeting the above standards, request a User ID and Password from the Arbor Day Foundation’s online application site. Complete the form and attach supporting materials. At a minimum, the application needs to include the following attachments:
Be sure to apply for recertification each year by Dec. 31.
Tree City USA Growth Award
For those who go above and beyond the call of duty, there is the Tree City USA Growth Award. Certified communities can qualify if they spend at least as much on their urban tree program as they did the previous year. In addition, they must either initiate new tree management activities or expand current activities over the previous year. The Growth Award also qualifies a community to be considered for the Tree City USA of the Year Award.
See if your Texas community recieved a Growth Award.
For more information, contact: Gretchen Riley, Tree City USA Coordinator Texas A&M Forest Service 200 Technology Way, Suite 1281 College Station, Texas 77845 979.458.6650 email@example.com