Expanding Space for Street Trees

Committee: Environment

Cost: $100,000

Location: To be determined based on need and impact assessments.

Short Description: Help our environment by removing pavement to expand space for new and existing trees. Removing pavement provides more soil space for tree roots, helps trees live longer and healthier, improves drainage, and reduces city heat.

Long Description: Cambridge plans to reach annual planting of 1,000 street trees and 250 open space trees across the city by 2025. However, the robust survival of street trees depends largely on the size of the tree wells and the amount and quality of the soil in which they are planted, as well as regular watering and maintenance. To improve the health and longevity of the city’s street trees, this proposal will fund the removal of pavement of seven locations to be determined by the City’s need and impact assessments. This proposal recommends prioritizing main transportation corridors in Cambridge. Pavement removal will connect smaller, existing tree wells along these stretches, which will give existing tree roots more space in which to healthily establish themselves. Expanding these corridors of tree wells will also provide room to plant more new trees and groundcovers. Over time, this will further the development of a healthier and denser tree canopy, providing shade to bikers and pedestrians as well as improving drainage in the city and reducing temperatures in heat islands.



Connected tree wells on a sidewalk along Mass. Ave.