Tree City USA Enrollment Criteria

Standard 1: A Tree Board or Department

A tree board is a group of concerned citizens, usually volunteer, charged by the tree ordinance to develop and administer a comprehensive city tree management program. Typically, tree boards/commissions are responsible for policy formulation, advising, administration, management, representation and advocacy. The mission of a tree board is usually defined in the tree ordinance.

Tree Board Resources: Sample Job Description | Sample Meeting Agenda | Tree Board University

Standard 2: A Tree Ordinance

A tree ordinance should be formulated by the tree board or department, and should determine public tree-care policies for planting, maintenance, and removals. Tree ordinances play an important role in building healthy and sustainable urban and community forests. A well-designed tree ordinance can take months or years for communities to write, but can provide many benefits to people living in the community.

The Tree Ordinance Development Guidebook was designed to assist communities in the revision of existing or the development of new tree ordinances. The guidebook provides information ranging from forming a working group to developing a draft tree ordinance. A tree ordinance evaluation form helps communities identify their own unique situation and future needs. This sample tree ordinance will help you get started.

Resources: Recommended Standards and Glossary

Standard 3: A Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at Least $2/Capita

To be named as a Tree City USA, a town or city must annually spend at least $2 per capita for its community forestry program. In determining the size of your city'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 are already spending far more than $2 per capita.

Standard 4: An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation

The mayor of your community must issue a proclamation declaring the observance of Arbor Day in your community, and an Arbor Day celebration must take place.

More Information:

Contact the Sustainable Community Forestry Staff