Most people recognize the value of trees, but when it comes to climate change, trees really are an invaluable resource. Not only do they absorb carbon dioxide in the environment, but the shade they produce helps keep our neighborhoods cooler and can reduce the energy needs of your home. Planting just three trees in strategic locations around your house can save up to 30% of energy use (U.S. Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research). In addition, trees block winter winds, attract beneficial wildlife, purify water, prevent erosion, and add beauty to our landscapes.

Unfortunately, the number of street trees in Newton have declined in recent decades, and more and more yard trees have been coming down with new houses being built across the City. Last year, however, with the help of the Newton Department of Forestry and generous donors, Green Newton was able to plant over 260 trees throughout Newton as part of the 4C Tree Project (Capture Carbon Commemorate COVID-19). These trees not only serve as living memorials to the friends, family, and neighbors in Newton who lost their lives to Covid-19, but will be an important tool in the fight against climate change for generations to come.

Linden and Elm trees planted as part of the 4C Tree Project

An American Linden (left) and American Elm (right) at Mason-Rice Elementary School (photo credit: Elizabeth Sockwell)

The trees are now a year old and are doing great. They can be found in over 25 locations throughout the City, including at many schools and parks (stay tuned for a map), and are comprised of 18 different species. Many of these trees are native to Massachusetts, such as White Oaks, American Elms, and Hophornbeams. Be sure to look out for them around town and take a moment to reflect.

If your neighborhood is lacking street trees, the Newton Tree Conservancy is accepting applications for Fall 2022 Community Tree Plantings through June 17, 2022. Their preference is to plant clusters of eight or more trees where five or more homeowners have empty spots on the berms.