The Healthy Trees, Healthy Boston Initiative aims to improve the health of Boston’s trees by engaging people in hands-on tree care and inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards.


Healthy Trees Initiative

Click here to see photos taken at the Healthy Trees, Healthy Boston booth during the Cambridge Science Festival

Click here to see photos taken at Tree Plantings with Boston Partners in April 2013

The Healthy Trees, Healthy Boston Initiative improves the health of Boston’s trees by engaging people in hands-on tree care and inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards. Healthy Trees, Healthy Boston:

  • Assesses urban forest health to inform tree planting and management;
  • Trains volunteers in tree stewardship and tree health monitoring;
  • Engages youth and the public;
  • Raises awareness about the importance of trees and what people can do to keep trees healthy through education and outreach; and
  • Works with local partners to ensure the successful implementation of the program.

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Training and Resources


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Get Involved

Plant and Nurture Young Trees. The first few years of a tree’s life are critical to the future of a healthy tree. Planting and taking care of newly planted trees can greatly improve their chance of a long and healthy life.


Keep Tree Beds Tidy. A tidy tree bed absorbs more water when it rains and maintains a healthy root system for the tree.


Become a Pest Detective. Be observant and look for unusual changes in your neighborhood trees. Trees usually show symptoms when they are under attack. The earlier we catch a pest infestation, the easier it is to limit or even prevent the widespread damage caused by these pests.


Don’t Move Firewood. Most pests can only move short distances on their own, but people inadvertently move them long distances by moving firewood or other raw wood to new areas. It is very difficult to see if wood is infested with a pest or disease, so play it safe: buy it where you burn it and please don’t move firewood.


There’s an App for That. There are apps that make it easy for you to identify, map and care for trees, as well as report tree pests to officials. A new phone application to identify tree pests and diseases that could affect Boston’s trees is now available for public use. Download the Outsmart Invasive Species app at iTunes or Google Play.


Report a Pest. When you identify tree damage or notice an unusual tree pest, take a picture and note the location.  Report your findings to officials in Massachusetts by calling (617) 626-1735 or report online:


Massachusetts Nature Conservancy 

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State Officials Confirm Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Essex County. Jennifer Forman Orth with Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project. December 9, 2013. 
Adopt-a-Tree is a project to get citizens involved with the care and maintenance of young street trees. Greenovate Boston and the Grow Boston Greener campaign aim to plant 100,000 trees by 2020 with the goal of increasing Boston’s tree canopy from 29% to 35% by 2030. The city of Boston is planting over 1,000 trees a year to meet this goal! Check out the Adopt-a-Tree program to find out how individuals, businesses, and organizations can help!
With Borer Announcement, Merrimack County Under Firewood Quarantine. Sam Evans-Brown with NHPR. April 8, 2013.

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U.S. Forest Service:
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation:
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources:
City of Boston:
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service:
UMass, Cooperative Extension:
Boston Green Academy:
Friends of the Public Gardens:
Boston Natural Areas Network:
Urban Ecology Institute:
USFS Urban Connections Program:
Boston’s Urban Forest Coalition

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