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First citywide tree inventory underway

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Parks and Recreation

The first step in our Urban Forest Plan is to count all the City of Boston street trees. We’re more than halfway done with the process, and wanted to share what we’ve found so far!

Earlier this year, the Boston Parks Department launched our first ever Urban Forest Plan. Our hope is that this Urban Forest Plan will help prioritize, preserve, and grow the tree canopy throughout the City of Boston for decades to come. 

The Boston Urban Forest Plan will be a year-long effort made up of several phases. The first part of our work is an urban forest street tree inventory — an assessment of the existing conditions of the public street trees throughout the City. This canopy inventory kicked off earlier this year, carried out by a team of five trained arborists from PlanIt Geo. These arborists are currently traveling each City street, counting, mapping, and assessing each tree.

Tree inventory

 Our team of hard-working arborists are working from north to south throughout the city. As of May 2021, they have surveyed 11 neighborhoods, and are more than halfway done with the process.

Here’s what they’ve found so far:

Tree Inventory - Allston (Bar Graph)
The Top 10 most common trees in the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods include: Honey Locust at 19.2%, Littleleaf Linden at 16%, Norway Maple at 14.8%, Red Maple at 9.1%, Pin Oak at 8.8%, Northern Red Oak at 8.2%, Japanese Zelkova at 6.6%, London Planetree at 6%, Hedge Maple at 5.9%, and Accolade Elm at 5.5%.
Tree Inventory - Back Bay/ Beacon Hill (Bar Graph)
The Top 10 most common trees in the Back Bay/ Beacon Hill neighborhoods include: Honey Locust at 34.4%, Callery Pear at 16.6%, Littleleaf Linden at 16%, Norway Maple at 6.4%, Ginkgo at 6.3%, Red Maple at 5.8%, Japanese Zelkova at 3.9%, American Elm at 3.7%, Accolade Elm at 3.5%, and the Pin Oak at 3%.
Central Boston tree inventory
The Top 10 most common trees in the Central Boston neighborhoods include: Honey Locust at 41.5%, Littlelead Linden at 13.6%, Pin Oak at 8.8%, Ginkgo at 6.9%, Red Maple at 6.7%, Accolade Elm at 5.7%, Callery Pear at 5.5%, London Planetree at 5.5%, Freeman Maple at 3.2%, and Japanese Pagoda at 2.7%.
Urban Forest Plan
The Top 10 most common trees in the Charlestown neighborhood include: Honey Locust at 35.1%, Littleleaf Linden at 11.5%, Pin Oak at 10.9%, Callery Pear at 8.5%, Green Ash at 7.2%, Red Maple at 6.7%, Norway Maple at 6.2%, Japanese Zelkova at 5.7%, London Planetree at 4.2%, and Ginkgo at 3.9%.
Urban Tree Plan
The Top 10 most common trees in the East Boston neighborhood include: Honey Locust at 24.5%, Littleleaf Linden at 13.8%, American Basswood at 10.7%, Norway Maple at 10.6%, Green Ash at 9.7%, Freeman Maple at 9.5%, Crabapple at 6.4%, London Planetree at 5.2%, Red Maple at 5.1%, and Sweetgum at 4.6%.
Fenway-Longwood tree inventory
The Top 10 most common trees in the Fenway/Longwood neighborhoods include: Honey Locust at 33.6%, Littleleaf Linden at 10.2%, Red Maple at 9.5%, Ginkgo at 7.7%, Japanese Zelkova at 7.4%, Accolade Elm at 7.3%, Green Ash at 6.9%, Sweetgum at 6%, American Elm at 5.9%, and Callery Pear at 5.5%.

 

Tree Inventory - Mattapan (bar Graph)
The Top 10 most common trees in the Mattapan neighborhood include: Norway Maple at 20.9%, Honeylocust at 18.7%, Littleleaf Linden at 15.5%, Empty Pit/Planter 10.1%, Red Maple at 8.8%, Pin Oak at 6.6%, Crimson King Maple at 5.7%, Japanese Zelkova at 4.7%, Northern Red Oak at 4.5%, and American Sycamore at 4.4%.
Mission Hill tree inventory
The Top 10 most common trees in the Mission Hill neighborhood include: Honeylocust at 17.7%, Callery Pear at 16.8%, Red Maple at 12%, Japanese Zelkova at 10.3%, Northern Red Oak at 9.5%, Ginkgo at 7.9%, Norway Maple at 7.1%, London Planetree at 7.1%, Sweetgum at 6.8%, and Littleleaf Linden at 4.9%.

 

Tree Inventory - Roxbury (bar graph)
The Top 10 most common trees in the Roxbury neighborhood include: Honey Locust at 31.5%, Green Ash at 9.9%, Northern Red Oak at 8.6%, Callery Pear at 8.5%, Littleleaf Linden at 8.4%, Red Maple at 7.7%, London Planetree at 7.7%, Norway Maple at 6.9%, Japanese Zelkova at 6.1%, and Pin Oak at 4.7%.
Tree inventory - South Boston (Bar Graph)
The Top 10 most common trees in the South Boston neighborhood include: Honey Locust at 28.2%, Norway Maple at 15.8%, Litteleaf Linden at 10.6%, Red Maple at 9.5%, Callery Pear at 9.1%, Japanese Zelkova at 8.3%, Green Ash at 7.1%, Accolade Elm at 4.5%, Pin Oak at 3.7%, and American Elm at 3.1%.
Tree Inventory - South End (bar graph)
The Top 10 most common trees in the South End neighborhood include: Honey Locust at 20.6%, Littleleaf Linden at 20.2%, Norway Maple at 11.4%, Accolade Elm at 9.7%, Callery Pear at 8.7%, Japanese Zelkova at 6.8%, Ginkgo at 6.7%, Red Maple at 6.4%, Red Maple at 6.4%, Green Ash at 5%, and Pin Oak at 4.6%.

The data collected during this tree inventory will provide an important snapshot in time of the condition of Boston’s street trees. This tree inventory will serve as a key benchmark for the Urban Forest Plan, and the data will provide information that will guide future decisions. We expect to complete the tree inventory around August and will publish the data once quality control is complete. In the coming weeks we will survey the following neighborhoods in this order: Hyde Park, Dorchester, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury.

Interested in becoming an arborist or learning more about tree care professions? This planning process will include community conversations around workforce development and how the Urban Forest Plan can support careers in tree care. Stay up-to-date on each phase of the Urban Forest Plan by signing up for our Healthy Places newsletter! 

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  • Urban Forest Plan
  • Heat Resilience Study, and
  • Open Space and Recreation Plan.
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