Plan for Arbor Day – April 28th

Information on planting trees along roadways or within your private boundaries.

Above: The Arbor Day Foundation offers guidance on the appropriate location for planting trees on your property. (image from

Each year, the Select Board approves a proclamation of Arbor Day in Southborough. Part of the announcement includes:

we urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well- being of this and future generations.

This year, Arbor Day will take place in nine days on Friday, April 28th. For anyone who wants to honor the day by planting a tree, I’m sharing information to help plan ahead.

The Planning Board has updated its “Tree City USA” page. On it, residents can fill in a form pledging to either plant a tree within the public way in front of their yard or donate towards the Town’s efforts. 

Because public shade trees belong to the town, the location and the species would need to be coordinated with the Town’s Tree Warden. (The species would be from the list in the Town’s Street Tree Guidelines.)

A simpler option is to plant a tree fully within the bounds of your private property. That would avoid the need to coordinate with the Town, but there are still important considerations and the Town’s Street Tree Guidelines are helpful here.

The guide warns about trees that are prone to hosting invasive Asian Long-horned Beetles. It also provides a list of native species that should thrive in our region and help support native pollinators/wildlife. Plus, the guide includes sections dedicated to trees based on the shape you are looking to plant. (“Broad Shade Trees”, “Upright or Narrow”, etc.)

The guide also provides some helpful tips on where to plant. The focus is for planting near the roads, so you may also want to check out tips offered by The Arbor Day Foundation. Their blog offers some guidance on the size and shape of trees based on where you are planting them, including near buildings. You can find that here. (The Foundation also has other tips for planting related to soil quality, etc.)

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