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Michigan's Tree City communities aim for the canopy

Two new communities, St. Charles (Saginaw County) and Northport (Leelanau County), have joined more than 100 Michigan towns, cities and schools earning Tree City USA status for efforts to promote and care for public trees.

A total of 116 communities, two healthcare facilities and nine college campuses have been recognized through their respective programs. The newest college campus, Wayne State University in Detroit, joins eight recertifying Tree Campus USA schools – a designation honoring educational institutions. Recipients will receive award materials later this spring.

“Michigan proudly ranks in the nation’s top 10 for the number of communities with Tree City designations,” said Lawrence Sobson, a forester with the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Tree City communities, supported by the Urban and Community Forestry Program, lead the way in bringing the benefits of trees to residents and promoting tree care best practices.

“Michigan’s program works with communities to promote equitable access to trees, supporting clean air and water and providing climate change resilience,” said Sobson.

Tree City USA communities ►

The Tree City program has four standards, and communities of any size can participate. These include having a city department or tree board, developing a public tree care ordinance, creating an annual plan and budget of at least $2 per capita and, finally, celebrating Arbor Day, held the last Friday in April each year.

Learn about the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree USA programs at

Find information about urban forestry in Michigan at Questions? Contact Kevin Sayers, 517-582-3209, or Lawrence Sobson, 313-316-4137.