Delaware Department of

Tree Recognition Programs

Tree City USA

Tree City USA logo with green and white tree, surrounded by blue and green band, with the words underneath "Tree City USA: An Arbor Day Foundation Program"The Tree City USA® program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities that more than 135 million Americans call home.

The many benefits of being a Tree City include creating a framework for action, education, a positive public image, and citizen pride.

Read more about the benefits of becoming a Tree City.

To qualify as a Tree City USA community, a town or city must meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. These standards were established to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program. It is important to note that they were also designed so that no community would be excluded because of size.

Four Standards for a Tree City USA

For information on becoming a Tree City USA, contact the Urban and Community Forestry Program


Tree City USAs in Delaware

Number of years in ( ) parentheses.

New Castle County
New Castle (10)
Ardentown (13)
Arden (15)
Newark (21)
Wilmington (29)
Kent County
Smyrna (17)
Dover AFB (30)
Dover (33)
Sussex County
Henlopen Acres (6)
Georgetown (8)
Ocean View (14)
Bethany Beach (16)
Milford (17)
Lewes (21)
Rehoboth Beach (31)

Tree Friendly Program

Tree Friendly

Delaware’s Tree Friendly Community Program honors communities and homeowner associations that are committed to protecting and enhancing our state’s urban forest resources. Delaware currently has 21 communities that are certified as “Tree Friendly.”

Download a  Tree Friendly Application – TBD.
2024 applications will be posted late spring.

A community can qualify by accomplishing three (3) of the following:

To qualify as a Tree Friendly Community, you must have fulfilled (3) of the following:

❖ Performed an annual ceremony to promote your community’s and our state’s urban forest resources. This may be an Arbor Day, Earth Day, or another community ceremony that educates the public and promotes the importance of trees within your community.

❖ Conducted a tree project within your community that enhances existing urban forest resources. This can include planting trees within a community-owned open space, pruning of community-owned street trees, or a similar project that demonstrates a commitment to maintaining your community’s existing urban forest resources.

❖ Developed a community forestry management plan in cooperation with the Delaware Forest Service U&CF Program. Management plans should guide the management of urban forestry resources for at least a five-year period.

❖ Developed a community tree ordinance that protects trees.

❖ Formulated a tree commission or tree board that serves as the guiding body for tree related decisions throughout the community.

❖ Had a tree budget of $1 per household for residential communities.

To see if your community qualifies as a Delaware Tree Friendly Community, please complete an application (TBD) and email to the Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Program.

The final day to apply is September 1, 2024. Applications will be reviewed by the U&CF Council and DFS Staff. Communities that qualify will receive a letter of acceptance in October 2024. Accepted communities will receive a complimentary sign to display publicly that they are committed to maintaining their forest resources and our state’s environment. This certification is effective for two years, after which it can be renewed. Applications submitted on odd years will be required to recertify the following year and every two years after to maintain a Tree Friendly Community Status. No site visits are required. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Delaware Tree Friendly Communities 2023-2024

Community County Level
Alapocas New Castle Gold
Fairthorne New Castle Silver
Tavistock New Castle Platinum
The Village of Fox Meadows New Castle Bronze
Westover Hills A New Castle Platinum
Westover Hills C New Castle Platinum
Champions Club Kent Silver
Bishops Landing Sussex Bronze
Coastal Club of Lewes Sussex Bronze
Lewes Crossing Sussex Bronze
Nassau Grove Sussex Bronze
The Plantations Sussex Bronze
Savannahs Landing Sussex Bronze
Sawgrass Community Sussex Bronze
Senators Community Sussex Bronze
Solitude at White Creek Sussex Bronze
Bayside – Tunnell Community Sussex Gold
Baywood – Tunnell Community Sussex Gold
Creekside – Tunnell Community Sussex Gold
Coveside – Tunnell Community Sussex Gold
Dockside – Tunnell Community Sussex Gold
Lakeside – Tunnell Community Sussex Gold
Seaside – Tunnell Community Sussex Gold
Village of Cinderberry Sussex Bronze
Meadows – Villages of Old Landing Sussex Silver


Tree Campus

Tree Campus Higher Education

A college or university campus can receive annual Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by meeting five standards

  1. Establishment of a campus tree advisory committee
  2. Evidence of a campus tree-care plan
  3. Verification of the plan’s dedicated annual expenditures
  4. Observing Arbor Day
  5. Creating a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body

Tree Campus USA program recognizes college and university campuses that:

  • Effectively manage their campus trees.
  • Develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests.
  • Strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.

Why should my school participate?

  • A commitment to trees can significantly reduce the amount of energy your campus, and community need to generate.
  • Planting and maintaining trees absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.
  • Green space provides important mental health benefits to students, faculty, and staff, as well as encourages physical activity.
  • Involving students in tree-related service-learning projects helps educate the next generation about the importance of caring for the environment.

Recognition also builds pride among your campus and the wider community. The Arbor Day Foundation will help you in sharing your designation, as well as sending flags, press releases, logos and graphics, and other materials after your acceptance.


Tree Line USA

Tree Line USA

Every day in communities all across America, people depend on safe, reliable electric service to power their homes, businesses, and public buildings – all while protecting and enhancing the urban forest. The Tree Line USA® program exists to recognize best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens.

The Arbor Day Foundation collaborates with the National Association of State Foresters on this initiative. These state foresters bring expertise in balancing the demands of expanding utility needs in our communities alongside the benefits of providing adequate care for our urban forests.

What are the core standards for Tree Line USA?

  1. Quality Tree Care — Industry standards for pruning, planting, removals, trenching, and tunneling near trees are consistently followed.
  2. Annual Worker Training — Utility employees and contract workers are trained at least annually in best practices.
  3. Tree Planting and Public Education — Tree planting and public education programs are available to the public and paying customers, demonstrating proper tree planting, placement, and pruning while expanding the tree canopy in the community.
  4. Tree-Based Energy Conservation Program — A formal tree-based energy conservation program is in place, putting special consideration on the value of trees in conserving energy.
  5. Arbor Day Celebration — Sponsorship of or participation in annual Arbor Day events at the community level are documented, including collaboration with community groups whenever possible.

Utility companies that comply with these core standards are welcome to print and submit a Tree Line USA application form to enroll.

Arbor Day

Arbor Day

Each year, Delaware celebrates the last Friday in April as “Arbor Day,” an occasion to plant trees and spotlight the numerous natural benefits that trees provide. Established by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, it is estimated that one million trees were planted on the very first Arbor Day. Arbor Day observances are also an integral part of community recognition programs such as Tree City USA, Delaware’s Tree Friendly Community Program, Tree Campus, and Tree Line USA, as well as qualifying for a financial award from the Urban Grant Program.

The Delaware Forest Service also sponsors numerous activities to celebrate Arbor Day each year, including the Arbor Day School Poster Contest and Free Seedling Program, and its annual Arbor Day Ceremony with the Governor’s Office.




If you have questions, comments, or need assistance, please contact:
Urban and Community Program Program. Send E-mail.

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