Burlington’s urban forests are a mosaic of planted landscapes and native plants. They are a reflection of the city’s health, well being, and livability.
About Burlington’s Trees
The Trees & Greenways Team of the Department of Parks & Recreation manages the urban forestry program. This program includes 8,500 street trees, 3,100 park trees, and 150 acres of forested parkland. The staff of the Trees & Greenways section, including a full-time Arborist and three full-time Arborist Technicians, provides a wide range of services including tree planting, pruning, cabling, and removal. Our goal is to provide a healthy and safe community forest throughout our city.
An urban forest provides great value in many different ways, such as increased property values, savings from decreased heating and cooling costs, reduction of air pollution, and erosion control. It is estimated that a tree with a 50-year life span provides nearly $60,000 of benefit over its lifetime. Other benefits are less easily measured, but not less valuable. An urban forest provides beauty that inspires us, recreation that refreshes us, and a contact with nature that lifts our spirits. The aesthetic and inspirational value of an urban forest is incalculable.
Caring for Our Trees
The Department of Parks & Recreation, Tree and Greenways Section, maintains approximately 8,500 trees located in the street right of way and 3,000 trees in city parks. The goal of the pruning program is to prune every tree on a four year rotation basis. That is to visit every tree at least once every four years to inspect, prune, cable and perform any necessary maintenance to ensure a safe and health tree. Four years is an average number, younger trees require more frequent pruning and training, and older trees require less pruning.
Pruning is scheduled throughout the year on a street by street, ward by ward basis. This is the most efficient use of staff time and equipment. The Trees and Greenways staff will respond to request by individuals with concerns with specific trees. Inspections will be made and work scheduled as needed.
Twice a year, the Trees and Greenways staff undertakes a complete inspection of all of the trees located in the street right of way and parks to determine the dead and hazardous trees. These trees are removed and plans are initiated to remove the stumps and plant replacement trees if appropriate.
Contact City Arborist VJ Comai at 802-862-8245 with any questions or concerns about specific trees or to report any tree in the street right of way that you think may be dead or hazardous.