Get Involved

The 20,000 trees that line Newton’s streets make them wonderfully green, and create a beautiful, pleasant, and comfortable environment to live in. While adding to the quality of life for Newton residents, street trees also contribute to higher property values.

This part of Newton’s urban forest, however, is slowly disappearing. In the 1970s, there were some 40,000 street trees in the City. This 50% decline in street trees is due to a number of factors including: age, insufficient funding for properly maintaining trees, a lack of diversity of tree species, road salt, gas leaks, various forms of damage, and disease.

Chainsaw_trunkSome facts you should know: In recent years Newton has been losing about 650 street trees each year, and as many as 1,000 due to increased funding for removal of dead and risk trees. After two decades of contracting out tree maintenance, the City brought this work back in-house in FY2013 with an initial crew of three, later increased to six, to care for our street and park trees. The Forestry Department’s FY2018 goal is to plant 700 trees, including Newton Tree Conservancy plantings. The City’s 15-year planting plan would reach 800 trees per year in the later years, but only if additional personnel and equipment are approved to keep up with future tree maintenance.

How You Can Help

MW_planting_training_McCarthyRd_edited-1The Newton Tree Conservancy needs you to support its efforts to promote the health of Newton’s trees. Here are ways to get involved:

    • JOIN US – Newton Tree Conservancy memberships are for the calendar year, and we renew current members and solicit new ones each December. But you can join (or contribute) anytime. You can download a membership application as a fillable PDF (opens in a new window) and send the completed form to Newton Tree Conservancy, P.O. Box 233, Newton, MA 02468 or email it to newtontreeconservancy@gmail.com . New members get a free NTC tote bag to help spread awareness.


                 Use the “Donate” button to join or make a donation using PayPal.


  • DONATE – The Newton Tree Conservancy is a non-profit organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3), and contributions are tax-deductible for federal tax purposes.
  • PARTICIPATE – Help with activities such as website content, publicity, event planning and fundraising. Learn to care for trees and become a Tree Steward by taking a community forestry class or join citizen groups pruning trees or monitoring for diseases and pests.
  • PLANT – If there are bare spots on the berms (space between street and sidewalk) in your neighborhood, organize your neighbors and apply for a Community Tree Planting. See newtontreeconservancy.org/Programs/CommunityTreePlantings for information on how to apply.
  • ADVOCATE – Contact your public officials. Express your concerns about the decline in Newton’s urban forest and your desire to see it restored.
  • STAY INFORMED AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS – Sign up for our email list to be informed about future events and activities.

THANK YOU!

newtontreeconservancy.org

newtontreeconservancy@gmail.com

617-564-3531

2 comments

  • Harlan Sonderling

    Greetings. I am sorry to report that one of the two trees planted several years ago in front of 95 Lincoln St., N. Highlands, appears to be non-vital. I have watered it almost daily again this spring and mulched, but no leaves have come up. Julia is aware of this problem. I am willing to help obtain and plant a replacement, and I stand by for your advice. Thank you, as always.

    • Hi Harlan,
      I don’t know why this tree has struggled so much. You don’t need to water daily, just weekly, but even that should not be necessary at this point except in hot dry spells, because the roots should be established. We’ll check and see if no leaves means the tree is dead, or if it might have been defoliated by winter moth caterpillars. Either way, it may be best to try with a new tree this fall. I’m glad you’re willing to try again. – Julia

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