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Urban Canopy Initiative

Urban Canopy

Everyone deserves access to the many benefits of green spaces.  Trees have critical properties that contribute to healthy communities including shade cooling, wind protection, traffic calming, carbon sequestration, and storm water management.  Concord Greenspace is working with the city's Tree Subcommittee to support their work in restoring and increasing the urban canopy in Concord. 

General Loss of Urban Canopy
According to the July 2021 Tree Subcommittee report, Concord has lost approximately 30% of its urban tree canopy since 2000.  One of the key challenges in addressing this decline is identifying locations to plant new trees.   Right-of-way plantings pose challenges such as required permission from private property owners, conflicts with utilities, and lack of sufficient space and quality soils.  In 2020, the city planted hundreds of urban trees but only a small percentage survived due the lack of tree stewards to care and support the trees through the first 2 years after planting. 

To address canopy decline, the Tree Committee offers the Sustainable Street Tree Program which enables homeowners to sign up for up to two trees to be planted on their property for a reduced cost and includes free professional planting.  In return, the homeowner agrees to nurture and maintain the trees so they thrive.  In other cities similar programs have had significant impact in addressing canopy decline.  To make this work in Concord, we need YOUR help!  
Sign up to participate in the Sustainable Street Tree Program here and be a part of restoring our urban canopy. 

Impact of Invasive Insect Species
According to the 2016 Report to the Mayor and Council written by city staff including City Planner Beth Fenstermacher, the Concord area has been subject to invasive insect species that will have a major impact on the tree populations within the City. The species include the Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, and the Red Pine Scale. All three species are fatal to the infected trees though it may take several years for the trees to succumb after the initial infestation. Based on these three species it is estimated that approximately 20% of the trees on City owned parks, and cemeteries will succumb to invasive insects in the next 5 years. This 20% is in addition to normal loss of trees due to natural tree decline and weather related damages.  The Tree Subcommittee is urging the City to establish a framework for invasive insect species management to detect, contain, and mitigate the impacts. Learn more

Ways to take action:

  • Participate in the Sustainable Street Tree Program!

  • Advocate for the city to increase the city tree budget to address the impending canopy loss due to invasive species, salt, utilities conflicts, etc.

  • Review information on invasive insect species and take the recommended steps to mitigate the impact on trees on your property.

  • Spread the word to friends and neighbors.

  • ​Join the Tree Subcommittee!

Benefits of Planting Native Trees & Plants

Trees and plants in the urban setting serve to improve environment health, calm traffic, cool streets, prevent water run-off issues and more!  Planting native species is ideal because they naturally thrive and are easier to maintain than non-native plants.  After native trees and plants are established the need less water and care than non-native species.

Planting Party

Green Education

Concord Greenspace member and Master Gardener, Hannah MacBride, offers community workshops and classes on everything from backyard vegetable gardening to planting for pollinators.  Connect with Hannah today to book a private pollinator garden consultation with you and your neighbors, and to find out more about her upcoming offerings. 


Check out Hannah's green living blog at

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