Along with its millions of people, New York City is home to millions of trees, but only a few can claim to be the “Great Trees of New York City.” Back in 1985, NYC Parks embarked on the first Great Tree Search of New York City, inviting citizens across the five boroughs to nominate trees of unusual size, interesting or rare species, unusual form, and/or historical significance. The selected trees became heritage trees to be celebrated and preserved for generations. As time passed, the Great Trees aged, and now only 65 of the original 120 trees remain. The ecological benefits of the remaining 65 mature heritage trees is valued at over $24 million, which is one of the many reasons it’s time to add more Great Trees to the list!
Since the original search, new trees have grown to impressive sizes, and new events have occurred that are worthy of commemoration. NYC Parks has launched a new Great Tree Search with the goal of identifying the most significant trees in every neighborhood. Through a public process, New Yorkers in every community are now invited to nominate exceptional trees, as defined by their historic, botanical, and cultural significance, with the goal of increasing both the number of trees and the diversity of people telling these stories. The trees designated as “Great Trees” will be celebrated, and their stories preserved for generations to come.
To nominate a Great Tree in your neighborhood visit nyc.gov/parks/great-tree-nomination or use the NYC Tree Map to find an nominate your potential Great Tree at nyc.gov/parks/treemap.