The 23,000 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. Forty years ago, there were some 40,000 street trees in the City. This 35% 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.
Some facts you should know: Newton loses about 650 street trees each year, and the City spends more annually for the removal of dead trees than for maintaining living trees. After two decades of contracting out tree maintenance, the City now has a crew of three to care for our 23,000 street trees, as well as park trees. The FY2015 City budget includes planting about 125 trees, which may increase to 250 in FY2016. 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.
How You Can Help
- 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. New members get a free NTC tote bag to help spread awareness.
- 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.