DCR Bureau of Forestry and Forest Fire Control Programs

Learn about all the programs and services DCR offers, from land protection through the Forest Legacy Program, to technical assistance to municipalities in forest management planning, and more on the DCR Bureau of Forestry website.

DCR Forest Health

The Forest Health Program monitors and assesses factors that influence the health of Massachusetts’s forests. Find resources on forest health in Massachusetts, including a Forest Health Program Story Map at the DCR Forest Health website.

Greening the Gateway Cities

DCR Urban and Community Forestry Greening the Gateway Cities Program is designed to reduce household heating and cooling energy use by increasing tree canopy cover in urban residential areas in designated Gateway Cities. The DCR Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry Urban and Community Forestry crews, hired within local communities, plant trees in target neighborhoods to increase tree canopy cover for environmental and energy efficiency benefits.

This program, concentrated in Environmental Justice neighborhoods, targets areas within gateway cities that have lower tree canopy, older housing stock, higher wind speeds, and a larger renter population. Greening the Gateway Cities is currently active in Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee , Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield and Westfield,  Barnstable, Everett, Malden, Worcester, and Taunton.

Find out more at the DCR Greeing the Gateway Cities website and at Mass Urban Canopy

Legacy Tree Program

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Forest Health Program formally recognizes the largest known tree of each species growing in the state with The Massachusetts Legacy Tree Program.

Anyone can nominate a big tree! DCR encourages submissions of trees on public or private land within Massachusetts. Residents should complete their nomination online. Field inspectors will verify the tree species and measurements.

Tree City USA

About the Program & How to apply: Tree City USA 

In partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) administers the annual Tree City USA program in Massachusetts. DCR is responsible for reviewing Tree City USA applications from Massachusetts communities, to ensure that the information is current, accurate, and complete. DCR then recommends applicants for the award to the National Arbor Day Foundation.

The deadline for submitting applications is December 31st each year. The Arbor Day Foundation now makes the entire application process available on-line. DCR prefers that cities and towns use this on-line tool for the application process. Access the application portal from the Arbor Day Foundation website (Scroll down). However, if you need to fill out a paper application, please find DCR instructions for submitting the application and the required budget sheet at the DCR website.

Tree City USA and Growth Award applications may be found at the Arbor Day Foundation web site.

Please contact Community Action Forester Mathew Cahill 413-577-2966 or mathew.cahill@mass.gov if you need additional information.