About Tree City USA


Cooler temperatures. Cleaner air. Higher property values. Healthier residents.

The benefits trees bring to urban environments are endless — and by earning Tree City USA recognition, your community can experience them firsthand.

The Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover. It also gives them an avenue to celebrate their work, showing residents, visitors, and the entire country that they’re committed to the mission of environmental change.

In 2020

3,676

Recognized Cities  

$1,455,188,121

Invested in Urban Forestry

749,568

Trees Planted

Program History

Started in 1976, Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs. Our founders had a vision for a greener, healthier America, and hoped this initiative would inspire change on a nationwide level.

The first Tree City USA cohort was comprised of 42 communities in 16 states. Today, the program includes more than 3,600 communities from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

We’ve seen a lot of change over the years — but our participants’ passion for trees has remained the same.

Our story isn’t over. We hope to continue growing our network, city by city, until every American can live in a Tree City USA community.

Why Become a Tree City USA Community?

A thriving urban forest offers many advantages to communities. Here are just a few:

  • Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40%.
  • Neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
  • Trees reduce energy costs up to 25% by shading buildings and protecting them from winter winds.
  • Homes with trees have higher property values.
  • Green space plays a major role in improving mental and physical health.
  • Planting and maintaining trees absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.

Publicly demonstrating your commitment to the environment is a great way to build pride among residents, as well as position your community as an attractive place to live. To help you share your award, we send signs, flags, press releases, and other materials after your acceptance.

Hear from the Network

What does Tree City USA recognition mean to your community?


  • Participation has been a source of pride for decades. We hope to keep the flag flying at City Hall as a sign to our community the value we place on our canopy for aesthetics, a healthy environment, and an economic resource.

    Connie Baggett, Director of Program Management (Brewton, Alabama)
  • Earning Tree City USA recognition in an important badge of honor for our community…it recognizes our commitment to growing and maintaining our urban forest, despite the many struggles that get in the way.

    Gordon Matassa, Urban Forestry Project Coordinator (Oakland, California)
  • By being a part of Tree City USA, we are not only beautifying our community, but also improving our storm water management to mitigate flooding in this low-lying area.

    Jamie Shorkey, Landscape Plan Reviewer (Kenner, Louisiana)

Become a Tree City USA Community

Your community can receive annual Tree City recognition by meeting four overarching standards. They include:

  1. Maintaining a tree board or department
  2. Having a community tree ordinance
  3. Spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
  4. Celebrating Arbor Day
Additional Standard Details Resources to Help You Apply

Start Your Application

To earn recognition for the upcoming calendar year, you’ll need to submit an application by your state’s deadline. There is no cost to apply.


Apply Now


Advocate for Tree City USA Recognition

Looking to make the case for your community to join the program? Use this email, PDF, or Powerpoint to get the conversation started with your mayor or other leaders.

State Forestry Contacts

Every state has a dedicated Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator. These coordinators provide technical, educational, and financial assistance to communities in their state. They can also help you start your Tree City USA application.

Find Your State Coordinator

2020 Recognized Communities

Blank map of the United States and its territories Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming District of Columbia Puerto Rico District of Columbia