10,000 Trees

Tucsonans planted 11012 trees so far. Help us reach our next 10,000!

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb

Trees provide shade and a beautiful setting on Tucson's sunny days.

Trees provide shade and a beautiful setting on Tucson’s sunny days.

If you’ve ever angled for a shaded parking spot, chosen to walk on the shady side of the street, or taken your kids to the park, you know how important trees are in our desert city.  Tucson’s most popular business districts, most attractive streets, and most-loved parks all have one thing in common: an abundance of trees.  Trees provide shade and curb appeal, all while cleaning our air and cooling our homes and neighborhoods.

Planting trees and caring for them is a smart investment that increases the value of our homes, the livability of our neighborhoods, the health of our businesses, and our sense of pride in the community.  They are an investment in infrastructure that literally grows over time.

Despite all of these benefits, Tucson is still losing trees faster than we replace them.  Many portions of our community have little tree canopy and are in special shade priority areas.  To help reverse this trend, Mayor Rothschild is joining partners in the community to lead a challenge to plant 10,000 trees in Tucson – at homes, businesses, and on public property -by the end of 2014.

Track the trees you plant toward our goal here!

How You Can Help

Mayor Rothschild and others plant a bonita ash tree to launch the Mayor's 10,000 Tree Campaign, Oct. 4, 2013.

Mayor Rothschild and others plant a bonita ash tree to launch the Mayor’s 10,000 Tree Campaign, Oct. 4, 2013.

1. Plant a tree at your own home or business. 

2. Participate in a tree planting event.  See the listing of tree plantings on the right side of this page.

3. Organize your own tree planting event.  Neighborhoods, church groups, businesses, schools and other volunteer groups can contact Trees for Tucson for assistance in organizing tree planting events.  Subsidized trees are available.

4. Donate to Trees for Tucson’s “Tree Bank.  These funds are used to support community volunteer tree planting projects at public and nonprofit organization sites.

5. Support Tucson’s organizations that plant and care for trees in our community:

  • Trees for Tucson – Provides low-cost trees to homeowners, businesses, neighborhoods, and nonprofits through partnerships with Tucson Electric Power and Trico Electric Cooperative.
  • Watershed Management Group – Leads workshops, trainings, and programs on how to use rainwater and graywater to support trees and other vegetation.  Trains groups in how to maintain trees and water harvesting landscapes properly.
  • Tucson Audubon Society – Conducts volunteer events planting trees in Tucson neighborhoods to support Sonoran Desert wildlife.
  • Tucson Botanical Gardens – Runs an Urban Forestry Certificate Program to train citizens in the proper care of trees; and conducts classes on tree planting and water harvesting

6. Count the trees you plant toward our goal!  Click here to count your trees.

Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place, the Right Way

The right tree: Plant trees that are native to our region, or are desert-adapted.  Native and desert-adapted trees will use less water, require less maintenance, and survive our desert heat.

The right place: Make sure you take into account the mature size of the tree, and possible conflicts with overhead utility lines, structures, or other trees. Before digging, always contact Arizona Blue Stake to locate underground utilities.

Rainwater harvesting in Tucson

Rainwater harvesting in Tucson

Use rainwater or graywater as your trees’ primary water source whenever possible.  Did you know that more rain falls in the Tucson city limits than we use as a community each year?  The rainfall that runs off our rooftops, yards, parking lots and streets is Tucson’s largest underutilized source of water–and it’s free!  If we want to significantly increase our city’s tree canopy while preserving our potable water supplies, using stormwater runoff is the best possible way to do it.  Learn more about water harvesting here.

Take care of your trees.  Even if you are using water harvesting, your trees will need to be watered for at least their first 2-3 years after planting.  Also, most desert trees should not be pruned during that time.

For more information on the Mayor’s 10,000 Trees campaign, please email James MacAdam, or call (520) 791-4201.


Thanks to All the 10,000 Trees Partners

Planting 10,000 trees in a year is no small feat, and it requires a lot of hard work from the community. These groups have helped make the goal of planting 10,000 trees a reality.

Tucson Clean and Beautiful

Tucson Department of Transportation

Tucson Parks and Recreation

Pima County

Tucson Botanical Gardens

University of Arizona Campus Arboretum

Watershed Management Group

Participating nurseries around Tucson

Planting a single tree takes a lot of hard work and commitment, and these groups have planted thousands of trees. We would like to thank all of our partners for supporting Mayor Rothschild’s campaign, and for making our community a better place.


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