Urban and Community Forestry Program
Urban forests are the trees in the cities and neighborhoods where we live. The urban forest includes trees along streets, in parks and natural areas, and in your own
backyard. Urban forests provide many important environmental, social, and economic benefits and services too.
Urban forestry is the care and management of these trees in cities. Many cities have an urban forestry or other tree care program that manages trees along city streets and in parks.
In 2021, the ODF Urban and Community Forestry Program celebrated 30 years of service. The program has assisted communities with developing, improving, and expanding their urban forestry programs.
Contact the program to learn how your city can become more involved in urban & community forestry activities.
Upcoming grant opportunities
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Urban and Community Forestry Program has received Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) grant funding to support urban and community forestry efforts throughout Oregon. Read through the frequently asked questions (FAQ) to learn about the upcoming grant opportunities.
Emerald ash borer
Emerald ash borer arrival in Oregon will bring changes to NW streams and urban forests.
Read more about the emerald ash borer's arrival and the state's response.
Tree City USA communities
April was proclaimed as Oregon Arbor Month for the first time in 2021. To mark the occasion, the Oregon Department of Forestry asked the state's 69 Tree City USA communities to send us a photo capturing the city's Tree City USA spirit. These same cities were asked the question, "What does earning Tree City USA recognition mean to your city?" With this information, we created what we believe is an inspiring and engaging story, combining images, text, and an interactive Oregon map. The storymap made its debut April 15 in the middle of Arbor Month.
View the storymap about celebrating Oregon's Tree City USA communities.
Hiroshima peace trees communities
Three dozen Oregon communities have planted a total of 53 Hiroshima peace trees between 2019 and this year through a combined effort by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Community Trees and the One Sunny Day Initiative. Oregon is believed to have the highest density of Hiroshima peace trees outside of Japan.
View the storymap about the Hiroshima peace tree plantings and view where each one is planted on the map above.
A list of public places around Oregon where a variety of trees are grown for study and display. Please note the below lists capture most of the arboretums in Oregon.
Our hearts are heavy from thinking of those who lost loved ones, homes, and dreams in the recent fires across the state. We know that, for many of you, your city's trees may be the last thing on your mind right now. Yet trees embody hope. Whether or not your town was devastated by fire or smoke, view a list of community forestry and wildfire-related resources that may be useful in the future, if not now.
The theme of this year's conference was “Water Wise Community Forests: Strategies for our Future” the presentations focus on drought, tree selection, adaptability, soil moisture, storm preparedness, ice storm lessons, tree survival in green infrastructure, and using Tree Plotter Inventory to plan for climate fluctuations.
View the Oregon Urban and Community Forestry 2021 Virtual Conference videos.
TreesAreGood.org provides the public with educational information about the benefits of trees and how to properly care for trees in the urban environment.
An assortment of publications on tree and urban forestry related topics. Scroll down to “Publications about Forest Benefits & Health."
Designed to help guide city managers, policymakers and advocates in building effective urban forest programs, this website contains the latest research and best practices for implementing urban forestry projects in your community. A joint project of the US FS, American Forests and the National Association of Regional Councils.
Appreciating city trees
In Oregon, we set aside the month of April to honor trees. Click here for information about Oregon Arbor Month or contact your local Urban and Community Assistance Forester. In addition, click here to discover 14 pandemic-safe ways to celebrate Oregon Arbor month.
Arbor Day is America's national tree holiday. It's a day other states set aside to plant ceremonial trees, educate children about the importance of trees and honor the important role trees play in our daily lives. National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, but Oregon observes tree related activates all month to fit best tree planting times statewide.
For more information on Arbor Day or to plan a celebration, visit the Arbor Day Foundation.
A Tree Board, sometimes called “Tree Advisory Committee” or “Tree Commission,” is a group of citizen volunteers charged by ordinance with developing, guiding, or administering a community tree management program. A Tree Board advises and assists city professionals by:
Raising public awareness and public education about the value of trees
Serving as a technical advisor on tree related issue
Helping work on city tree care codes or a management plan
Advocating for trees
Promote Heritage Tree programs
Organizing tree planning projects and Arbor Day ceremonies
Cities with Tree City USA status already have a Tree Board of some sort.
If your city is not already a Tree City USA, consider starting a Tree Board in your town by contacting your mayor or city manager. Also consider attending "Tree Board University," a free, online series of courses to help you learn more about serving in a citizen advisory role in your city.
The Tree City USA program is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across America.
Communities achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management:
- Maintaining a tree board or department
- Having a community tree ordinance
- Spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
- Celebrating Arbor Day
Participating communities have demonstrated a commitment to caring for and managing their public trees. In Oregon, nearly 70 communities participate in the Tree City USA program.
If your community is interested in becoming a Tree City USA, please contact an Urban and Community Assistance Forester,
view the storymap about celebrating Oregon's Tree City USA communities, or visit the Arbor Day Foundation
Tree Campus USA
The Arbor Day Foundation also recognizes college and university campuses committed to their green space through the Tree Campus USA program. Tree Campus USA schools:
- Effectively manage their campus trees
- Develop a connection with their community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests
- Strive to engage their student population with campus and community forestry efforts
Learn more about becoming a Tree Campus USA from the Arbor Day Foundation.