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Connecticut's Tree Cities USA

How to apply for designation as a Tree City

Bridgeport Tree City 2013 - Fairfield Avenue
Tree City USA celebrated in Bridgeport in 2018 with the planting of a flowering cherry tree.

As of 2019, Connecticut has 18 Tree Cities USA as designated by the Arbor Day Foundation.  Connecticut also has one Tree Campus USA, the University of Connecticut.

In order to be eligible, a municipality must meet four standards:

  • Standard 1 - A Tree Board or a Department
    Someone must be legally responsible for the care of all trees on city- or town-owned properties. By delegating tree care decisions to a professional forester, arborist, city department, citizen-led tree board or some combination, city leaders determine who will perform necessary tree work.
  • Standard 2 - A Tree Care Ordinance
    A basic public tree care ordinance forms the foundation of a city's tree care program.
  • Standard 3 - A Community Tree Care Program with an Annual Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita
    By providing support at or above the $2 per capita minimum, a community demonstrates its commitment to grow and tend these valuable public assets.
  • Standard 4 - An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation
    An effective program for community trees would not be complete without an annual Arbor Day ceremony.

In comparison to communities throughout the rest of the country, Connecticut's cities and towns have a couple of advantages towards achieving these Standards:

  • Connecticut state law requires that each city and town have a tree warden appointed who has "care and control" of all public trees. In 2013, the state legislature added the requirement that tree wardens must be qualified. This effectively means that all municipalities in the state that are in compliance with state law have already met Standard 1.
  • By requiring an arborist license for those who practice commercial arboriculture in the state, Connecticut has also established the basic standards of arboriculture in the state. By requiring that the standards behind the state's arborist license also apply to those who care for the public's trees, a community will be achieving the sort of public tree policies that are intended through Standard 2.

Connecticut's Tree Cities (as designated in 2018):

City Years as a Tree City


Branford 9   28,984
Bridgeport  11



13   17,098
Danbury 29   85,000
East Hartford 23   51,137
Fairfield 31   62,105
Greenwich 2   62,000
Groton 24   30,341
Hartford 25 125,000
Middletown 29   47,424
Monroe 15   19,833
New Haven 10 128,000
Norwalk 15   89,005
Ridgefield 18   25,063
Southbury 21   19,571
Stamford 31 130,150
Wethersfield 23   26,195
Wilton 10   18,560

Connecticut's Tree Cities USA range from small towns to the state's largest cities. Communities on this list are entitled to be proud of their accomplishment. Being designated as a Tree City is an emblem of achievement and of leadership, as these communities are the pace-setters for urban forestry in the state.

How to Apply:

Applications for Tree City USA are based on the activities of the previous calendar or fiscal year and are due annually by January 16.

Application materials are available from the Arbor Day Foundation's website. This website also includes such helpful materials as sample Arbor Day proclamations and worksheets for determining per capita tree expenses. 

You must submit your application to the State Urban Forestry Coordinator. After initial review, the application will be forwarded to the State Forester for approval. The DEEP Division of Forestry will then submit your application to the Arbor Day Foundation.

The State Urban Forestry Coordinator is available for advice and assistance throughout the process.

State Urban Forestry Coordinator
Chris Donnelly
DEEP Division of Forestry
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Tree Campus USA celebration on UConn campus.

Tree Campus USA celebration on the University of Connecticut campus.

Trees and Urban Forests: Learn More  | Forestry Main Page

Content Last Updated February 2020