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Our Community Forest

FUNdamental to Lincoln’s “Green Infrastructure”

One of the hallmarks of Lincoln’s quality of life is its community forest, which is a prominent feature of its landscape. A canopy of thousands of trees is showcased in many shades of green in the summer and vivid reds, oranges and yellows of autumn.

It is also an important resource for the health and well-being of our environment and society. Trees lower heating and air conditioning costs, prevent erosion, provide wildlife habitats, reduce storm water runoff, increase property values and make our neighborhoods more livable.

Doing its part to maintain and preserve our priceless community forest, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department’s Community Forestry Section is responsible for all City-owned trees. It monitors the planting, pruning and removal of trees on public property, which includes street trees, park and golf course trees and trees along our trails.

Fast Forestry Facts

  • Since 1976, Lincoln has been nationally recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The four criteria that must be met to qualify for this status include:
    • Annual Arbor Day Proclamation and Celebration
    • Legally constituted tree body
    • Ordinance which pertains to trees
    • At least $2 per resident spent on trees
  • The 2009-2010 budget is just over $1 million
  • Currently, the number of full-time personnel is 16
  • Forestry maintains over 125,000 public trees, of which 87,000 are located on 1,217 miles of streets
  • Since 1998, Forestry has trimmed over 126,000 trees, supervised the planting of over 9,300 trees and removed over 37,700 volunteer, diseased, dead, dying and/or hazardous trees


  • Tree City USA (33 years)
  • Tree City USA Growth Award (19 consecutive years )
  • Named Sterling Tree City USA in 2000
  • Tree Line USA Utility – Lincoln Electric System  (5 consecutive years)
  • Tree Campus USA - University Nebraska Lincoln & Nebraska Wesleyan University (2 years)

Of the 3,400 Tree City USA communities nationwide, Lincoln, Nebraska is currently the only one to have all of the above designations!

Forestry Hot Topics

emerald ash borer

Emerald Ash Borer

The destructive Emerald Ash Borer has been found in eastern Nebraska (6/8/16 News Release). The Nebraska Forest Service website,, has extensive information regarding Emerald Ash Borer including:

  • Ash tree identification
  • Determining which ash trees are good candidates for treatment
  • Emerald Ash Borer treatment options
  • Suggested tree species to replace ash trees

You may wish to review the list of on-line publications available under the Forest Health section accessed by clicking the <>Resources & Publications tab.

For more information visit

  • Emerald Ash Borer Information
  • Emerald Ash Borer Nebraska Readiness Plan
  • Ash Tree Identification Guide
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