By Donovan Arborists | October 17, 2021 0


Ever noticed a Tree City sign on the road as you enter a community? It’s a real thing. Tree City USA signs are posted at significant intersections in more than 3,200 Tree City USA communities across the USA.
In Colorado, the signs are posted in these communities:

To be a Tree City, a  community must meet four standards set by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters:

  • The community must have a tree board or department.
  • The community must have established a community ordinance for tree care.
  • There must be a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita.
  • The community must have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The Tree City USA program was launched in 1976, by co-sponsors National Association of State Foresters and the United States Forest Servicer, long before the topic of the importance of trees was a part of everyday thought and conversation.

In 2006, then Mayor John Hickenlooper (now a US Senator) initiated the Mile High Million in his State of the City Address. The ambitious plan set a goal of adding 1,000,000 new trees to the Denver metro area by 2025. Under the umbrella of, the program was intended to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming, control erosion, and prevent water runoff. The idea was to lower energy bills, reduce noise, and increase property values.

The Associated Press reported in September 2013 that the initiative to plant 1,000,000 trees was eliminated. The city reported that between 250,000 and 500,000 trees had been planted in the 7 year period of the Mile High Million’s existence and that ongoing efforts would be on maintaining the health of the city’s 2.2 million trees.

According to City Forester Rob Davis, the ongoing focus would be preparing for the invasion of emerald ash borer.

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