Arbor Day Foundation Award Tree Planting and Mayor’s Proclamation on April 30

April 26, 2021

The Arbor Day Foundation has again named Portsmouth a Tree City USA and has awarded the Tree Growth Award to the City’s Department of Public Works parks and Greenery Division, led by arborists Corin Hallowell and Charles Baxter, along with the City's Trees and Greenery Committee. Portsmouth has achieved Tree City USA recognition for over twenty years by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least two dollars per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The Tree City USA Growth Award recognizes Portsmouth for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care.

On April 30, City Manager Karen Conard will read the Mayor’s Arbor Day Proclamation outside City Hall where a new dawn redwood is being planted as a legacy tree by the Parks and Greenery Division and Trees and Public Greenery Committee.

The redwood is one of 150 trees being planted around Portsmouth in accordance with budgeted allocations for the urban forest. Immediately following the redwood planting the City tree crew will meet up with a crew from Northeast Shade Tree of Greenland, who are donating a day’s labor to the City as their own celebration of Arbor Day.

Portsmouth earns its long-standing reputation with the Arbor Day Foundation because there are over 10,000 trees in Portsmouth that provide natural and historic character, from the oldest, a horse chestnut planted in 1776 by William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence, to the cherry trees gifted by Japan in honor of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. The City’s trees filter environmental pollutants, aid in storm water runoff and filtration, provide wildlife habitat, provide screening, increase biodiversity and improve the quality of life in the City. Certified Arborist and Parks and Greenery Department Foreman Chuck Baxter works with a team of arborists to preserve the urban forest through tree preservation techniques, yearly tree plantings and inventory management to maintain a diverse urban forest. The City also appoints a nine-member Trees and Public Greenery Committee, currently chaired by Peter Loughlin and Dick Adams.

"Tree City USA communities see the positive effects of an urban forest firsthand," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation in announcing the award. "The trees being planted and cared for by the City of Portsmouth are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it's through volunteer engagement or public education. If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time. With Tree City USA recognition, the City of Portsmouth has demonstrated a commitment to effective urban forest management and doing its part to help address these challenges for City residents now and in the future.”


The Arbor Day Foundation notes that communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, energy use, and protection from extreme heat and flooding. The Foundation recently launched the Time for Trees initiative to address these issues, with the goals of planting 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspiring 5 million tree planters by 2022.

For more information about the City’s urban forest and its Tree Protection and Planting guidelines, go to:

Cherry trees at City Hall