Trees, please!

Trees, please! 

Committee: Environment

Total Cost: $200,000

Locations: Heat islands around Cambridge, see description


Short Description:

Let’s plant 100 trees around Cambridge to combat heat, provide shade cover, and reduce carbon emissions all while contributing to a healthier, happier Cambridge.

Long Description:

Certain areas of Cambridge, as identified by the Climate Change Vulnerability Study and the Urban Forestry Master Plan, are heat islands. These are spaces that have high ambient air temperature, which can be especially uncomfortable for people to visit or live in. Planting trees here will improve the air quality, beautify the area, provide cooling shade, control stormwater runoff, slow accumulation of carbon, serve as animal habitats, and even boost cognitive and psychological health!

Planting one hundred trees across these locations addresses issues of high temperatures and low canopy cover where the need is highest and where pedestrians would benefit from the additional trees. These locations were suggested by many city residents and correspond with the heat islands identified in Cambridge’s Urban Forest Master Plan as areas most lacking shade (see heat map below).



Source: Cambridge Public Works Urban Forest Master Plan, Critical Urban Corridors Lack Shade






Showing 5 reactions

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  • Franziska Amacher
    commented 2019-12-06 11:20:57 -0500
    We desperately need more trees and also other storm water storage measures, like rain water gardens, permeable paving and even cisterns in especially vulnerable areas.
  • Susan Labandibar
    commented 2018-12-04 13:53:56 -0500
    The latest studies show that Cambridge’s tree canopy is in rapid and accelerating decline. Please vote for the trees for the benefit of all.

    There is a question below as to whether the trees approved in last year’s PB cycle were planted. There is no reason to believe that the city would not follow through on planting these trees. For example, in 2016, the city published a full report on where the trees approved in 2016’s PB cycle were planted. Here is the link:

    As for the second question about why it’s more expensive, I would guess it’s because the city has really upped its game when it comes to planting trees. They now need to be watered for a full three years.
  • G. Wyman
    commented 2018-12-04 09:23:45 -0500
    I live in East Cambridge and can attest that we need lots more trees. In my casual observation, it seems that newly-planted trees across East Cambridge and beyond seem to suffer from insufficient follow-through for on-going care from the city, as well as the insults of constant roadwork. I urge the city to commit sufficient funding and arbor care staffing to keep these living investments healthy!
  • Judy Mortner
    commented 2018-12-03 12:24:42 -0500
    Planting more trees will get my vote. And i’d also like to know the answers to Mollie’s good questions.
  • Mollie Schwartz
    commented 2018-11-26 17:16:44 -0500
    Last year’s PB awarded $141,000 for planting 100 trees in North + East Cambridge. I have two questions: 1. why the over 40% increase in the cost per tree in this proposal? and 2. is there a map of where those trees were planted?