Tree City USA


Wilmington: A "Tree City" Since 2002

Video: Presentation of Tree City USA Award

To qualify as a Tree City USA community, the city must meet four core standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. These standards were established to ensure every qualifying community would have a viable tree management program.

  1. A tree board or department must be legally responsible for the care of all trees on city-owned property.
  2. A basic public tree care ordinance forms the foundation of the city’s tree care program.
  3. A community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita to invest in the long-term care of the tree canopy.
  4. An annual arbor day observance and proclamation.

The Benefits of Urban Trees

Urban trees provide many ecosystem services that improve air and water quality; in addition to individual and community well-being.

An urban forest may include:

  • Individual trees along a street or in a parking lot
  • All trees within a yard or on a campus
  • Scattered trees within a park or other developed property

Urban trees help:

  • Moderate temperature extremes
  • Reduce wind speed
  • Reduce water erosion
  • Filter pollutants from air, water and soil
  • Provide visual and sound screens
  • Soften the harsh concrete, glass and steel cityscapes
  • Increase property values

Learn more about basic tree care practices:

Wilmington also developed and adopted its first Urban Forestry Master Plan in 2023.