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Cambridge Plants 1,000 Trees and Establishes Miyawaki Microforest

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The City continues to implement the Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP) which guides the development of Cambridge’s tree assets into the future. During FY22, Public Works reached the UFMP recommendation of planting 1,000 trees annually. Within two years, the City expects to exceed that recommendation and will plant 1,200 trees annually. In order to increase the long-term survival of newly planted trees, Public Works has improved pre-planting soil preparation, supervision of the planting process, and post-planting watering and other aftercare.

A bare root nursery constructed at Fresh Pond serves as a temporary holding place for bare root trees to be planted around the City, allowing the Urban Forestry Division to extend the planting season. During FY22, the Department of Public Works expanded the size of the bare root nursery utilizing $125,000 from the Community Preservation Act Fund.

This past year, the City of Cambridge collaborated with Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and the SUGi Project to establish a 4,000 square foot Miyawaki microforest at Danehy Park. Miyawaki Forests offer an opportunity to reestablish healthy forests in urban environments, mitigate the urban heat island effect, support biodiversity, buffer against flooding and erosion, help balance water cycles to fight drought conditions, and sequester carbon.

The preservation of existing trees on private property is another key aspect of the UFMP recommendations. During FY22, the Cambridge City Council passed an amendment to the Tree Protection Ordinance changing diameter and mitigation guidelines under the current ordinance. For any Significant Tree removal, a permit is required from the City Arborist. With replanting as an option for mitigation, additional trees are being planted across Cambridge. Public Works’ arborists review planting plans, species selection, final mitigation amounts, and conduct post-planting inspections.

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