Boston’s Urban Forest Plan is growing

Learn more about the tree-mendous plans for the city’s tree canopy.

A bird's eye view of Jamaica Pond and the tree canopy.

The tree canopy is strong near Jamaica Pond.

Photo via @drone_van_gogh

Wood you believe that there are currently 38,000 street trees in Boston? We’ll go out on a limb to say this number will keep on growing, thanks to the new Forestry Division that will branch out within the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

The new division will expand the department’s tree-related staff from five to 16 employees to help plant new trees + maintain existing trees.

Trees are an unbe-leaf-ably important part of Boston’s infrastructure. Urban forests help to reduce heat levels + remove air pollutants. Trees also support water quality and reduce the impact of flooding. The idea to focus on Boston’s trees was planted as part of the newly released Urban Forest Plan.

We rooted around and discovered the plan outlines seven major strategies for tree canopy management, including protecting existing trees, expanding the tree canopy, improving access to neighborhood tree data, and creating solutions to make space for more trees in Boston.

The plan also outlines neighborhood-specific strategies for tree planting, preservation, and care, focusing on under-canopied neighborhoods like Chinatown, East Boston, Roxbury, and Allston/Brighton.

The new tree team will be in charge of ensuring that a variety of trees are planted in strategic locations that support species diversity.

Speaking of biodiversity efforts — the announcement was made yesterday at the Arnold Arboretum, and the organization gifted 10 dawn redwood trees to be planted in neighborhoods across Boston.

Did you know that dawn redwoods have been featured on the Arnold Arboretum’s logo since 1995? These trees were thought the be extinct for millions of years and are known as “living fossils.” Since 1948, the Arboretum has shared seeds with 600 other botanical institutions across the world. What a treet for our city.