Urban Forestry

The urban forest plays an important role in Boston's landscape. The urban forest consists not only of all the treed areas in Boston (streets, yards, urban wilds, cemeteries, and parks) but also shrubs, grasses, herbaceous ground cover, soil, and our waterways. Trees contribute to the well being of our communities by:

  • moderating our local climate (did you know that on warm summer days, the air in urban areas can be 6-8°F hotter than its surrounding areas?),
  • filtering air pollutants,
  • storing storm water and reducing run-off (leaves, branches and bark intercept and store rainfall)
  • enhancing the biodiversity of species by providing wildlife habitat and attracting people to our livable city, and
  • connecting us to larger ecosystems through daily interactions with local green spaces.

Street Trees

The Parks Department is the agency with regulatory and operational responsibilities for public shade trees. The Department's maintenance program includes pruning, disease control, removals, and storm damage repairs. We plant public shade trees throughout Boston's 22 neighborhoods. Each street tree signifies the Mayor's commitment to a greener Boston. The Department plants in the fall and in the spring. Planting locations are primarily chosen based on resident requests.

Please mulch properly, water your street tree, and report any tree issues to the Park Line at (617) 635-PARK.


Service Requests


  • Tree and Bench Donation Program

    Honor someone special or celebrate a momentous occasion with a park bench or live tree in one of Boston's parks. All donations help to support parks citywide.

    Tree & Bench Donation Program