Standard One

  • A Tree Board or Department
A Tree Board is a group of concerned citizens, usually volunteer, charged by ordinance to develop and administer a comprehensive community tree management program for the care of trees on public property. Tree Boards usually function with the aid of professional foresters. In communities with a population of more than 10,000, city forestry departments with salaried employees are often feasible. These departments may or may not be supported by advisory boards or administrative commissions. This standard met with the Augusta-Richmond County Tree Commission and the Trees and Landscape Department.

Standard Two

  • Community Tree Ordinance
The Community Tree Ordinance needs to designate the Tree Board or Department and give them the responsibility for writing and implementing the annual community forestry work plan. The Ordinance should determine public tree care policies for planting, maintenance, and removals. Ideally, the Community Tree Ordinance will make provisions for establishing and updating a list of recommended street tree species to be planted with spacing and location requirements. A sample tree ordinance may be obtained by writing The National Arbor Day Foundation. This standard met with Augusta-Richmond County's Tree Ordinance.

Standard Three

  • A Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at least $2 per Capita
Many communities begin their program by taking an inventory of the trees growing on public property. The species, location, and condition of each tree are noted (i.e. healthy, needs pruning, should be removed, etc.) and the inventory data is summarized in a written report for presentation and approval by the City Council. The report should be a objective analysis of the present state of the urban forest with recommendations for future management. 

The essential, ongoing activity for the care of trees along streets, in parks, and in other public places is the responsibility of the Community Forestry Program. The annual work plan should address planting, watering and fertilizing, dead and hazardous tree removal, safety and fine pruning, and insect and disease control. To be named as a Tree City USA, a town or city must annually spend at least $2 per capita for its annual Community Forestry Program. All funds spent for tree care must be considered, including the budget for street tree department or board, park department's tree expenditures, dead tree removal, etc.

Standard Four

  • An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation
An Arbor Day observance can be simple and brief or an all-day or all-week observance. A proclamation issued by the mayor must accompany the observance and declare the observance of Arbor Day in your community. You can obtain a free Celebrate Arbor Day! packet by writing The National Arbor Day Foundation. Along with ideas for celebrating the holiday, the packet contains a sample proclamation.

Annually, Arbor Day is observed at Pendleton King Park. Each year, a tree is established and dedicated to outstanding individuals who promote urban forestry in the Augusta area. The event highlights include tree seedling giveaways, guest speakers, tree demonstrations, and a proclamation read by the Mayor of Augusta.