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Trees and Orchards

In 2011 Boston Natural Areas Network branched out to create a Boston Urban Forest Program to help improve and expand the urban forest, promote public health, and increase quality of life for Boston's residents.

Boston Urban Forest Council
The Boston Urban Forest Council is one way in which all residents of Boston can come together to promote and advocate for trees. The Council has bi-monthly meetings to advocate for tree plantings and tree maintenance, have informed resource sharing about the benefits of trees, influence tree policy and more. Everyone with an interest in trees, the environment and their neighborhoods is invited. The BUFC aims to give Boston tree advocates a voice in the City.

Here is the BUFC policy memo to the City on how to improve Boston's Urban Forest: Download BUFC Tree Policy Memo March 2014. BNAN has received funding from the City and MA DCR to continue to improve and protect Boston's canopy.

Tree Plantings
In the spring and fall, BNAN organizes and leads tree plantings with groups, schools, and volunteers. Tree planting days involve a tree planting demonstration by BNAN staff, followed by tree plantings by smaller groups. Tree selection and procurement is by BNAN staff. Tools and equipment for the planting is provided as well. If you would like to learn about tree planting opportunities, propose a tree planting, or donate money for a tree planting, please contact

Spreading Roots Tree Giveaway Program
BNAN launched its first Free Tree Giveaway in October 2013, giving away 100 free trees to Boston residents, schools and community groups from across 12 of Bostonís neighborhoods. Due to the demand for free trees, BNAN is continuing this program as Spreading Roots. The Spreading Roots Tree Giveaway is open to all Boston residents, non-profit organizations, schools, and community groups serving the Boston area.

Deadline to apply is April 27, 5:00 p.m. and trees must be picked up on May 9.

Community orchards provide a source of inexpensive, nutritious food and a rewarding personal experience. BNAN has created a map of the location of orchards and fruit trees in Boston, based on the data collected by EarthWorks and a selection of BNAN properties. Click here to view the orchards maps.

An urban orchard is a cluster of fruit trees, planted deliberately for the production of fruit. In Boston, there are urban orchards, many located on the grounds of historical houses and farms, state-owned lands, in community gardens, schoolyards, and a urban wilds. Some of these urban orchards are open to the public, while others have restricted access. Urban orchards were largely planted to promote, learning and education, and in some cases, to preserve the horticultural heritage of Boston's fruit-filled past.

BNAN provides information and educational programming on Boston's fruit and nut trees. EarthWorks, a nonprofit that stewarded many edible trees, closed their doors in 2008. Their Outdoor Classroom Curriculum is available on our drop down menu.

Tree Walks and Bike Tours
Each season brings an opportunity to see trees in a different way and to explore the various neighborhoods and greenspaces of Boston. Tree walks are offered in the winter, spring and fall. Tree bike tours are a great way to see and understand the Cityís urban tree canopy and orchards. Discussions about tree species, tree identification, invasive insects, and conditions of trees in the urban environment are often highlights of the tours. Come learn more about trees and meet others who like them too. Check the Boston Urban Forest Council facebook page for upcoming events.