Arbor Day Foundation now accepting Tree City USA applications

We hope you join us this year in continuing our strong commitment to growing and maintaining a healthy tree canopy across Wisconsin! The application portal for Tree City USA is now open and available at this link: Applications are due December 31st.

This is the second year with the new application portal, so if you applied last year, some of your information will be pre-populated on your application. Also, please note that the standard/requirement for having an Arbor Day celebration and proclamation has been waived this year.

Tree City USA is a national award program that recognizes efforts to raise awareness of the importance of trees and integrate trees and proper tree care in Wisconsin communities. To be recognized as a Tree City USA, a community must meet four core standards: maintaining a designated tree board or forestry department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and having an Arbor Day observance and proclamation (waived this year).

Wisconsin is a national leader in the Tree City USA (TCUSA) program. According to a recent summary by the Arbor Day Foundation, Wisconsin has the second highest number of TCUSA communities in the nation (195), the fourth highest number of TCUSA growth awards (17), and a 97.95% recertification rate. The majority of Wisconsin residents (59.42%) live in a TCUSA community, and $49,711,739 was spent on urban forestry management in 2019.

In addition to Tree City USA, the Arbor Day Foundation sponsors five additional programs open to Wisconsin communities and organizations: Tree Line USA, Tree Campus Higher Education, Tree Campus K-12, Tree Campus Healthcare, and Tree Cities of the World. The last three programs were launched in 2019, and you can read more about them here.

If your community is already a Tree City USA, consider applying for Tree City of the World status at the same time (yes, you can participate in both programs simultaneously)! But take note: the requirements for the two programs are somewhat different. Also, please let your contacts at K-12 schools and health care facilities know about the two new Tree Campus recognition programs.

In 2019, Wisconsin was proud to recognize ten Tree Line USA utilities, ten Tree Campus Higher Education schools, and two Tree Campus Healthcare facilities.

For more information, contact the DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator serving your area or reach out to Laura Lorentz ( or 608-294-0253).

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