Record number of UK Councils recognised as Tree Cities of the World

5 June 2024 2 minute read

Sunset view of brick buildings alongside a water channel in the central Birmingham, England
Birmingham, a Tree City of the World

The Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has recognised 26 UK ‘Tree Cities’, joining the international Tree Cities of the World network committed to maintaining and celebrating their urban forests. Trees for Cities is hosting the first gathering of local authorities recognised as UK Tree Cities at the UK Tree Cities Forum in Birmingham this June, in collaboration with Birmingham TreePeople.

Tree Cities of the World is a programme co-founded by The Arbor Day Foundation, the world's largest non-profit dedicated to planting trees, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. This year, the initiative has awarded 200 cities worldwide for their dedication to managing and promoting their urban tree canopy.

Among those with Tree City status are 26 UK towns and cities, the highest number since the programme’s launch in 2019. It’s also the first year that all four UK nations are represented, with Edinburgh, Dundee, and Belfast having joined the UK cohort this year. Other newly-recognised cities are Doncaster, Newcastle, Wirral, and the London Borough of Islington.

We all want to live in a city that is healthy, resilient, and beautiful – trees serve as a common language to make that possible. Being recognised in the Tree Cities of the World programme means that your city is committing to go above and beyond to define trees as critical green infrastructure for your citizens.

Dan Lambe, CEO at Arbor Day Foundation

Trees for Cities staff and others who have taken part in Tree Cities of the World holding up a banner
Tree Cities of the World at the Forum of Urban Forests

Trees for Cities leads the promotion of Tree Cities of the World in the UK, and is bringing together UK Tree City representatives together at the first ever UK Tree Cities Forum on 11th June, supported by Birmingham TreePeople.

Cecil Konjinendijk, event keynote speaker and Director of the Nature Based Solutions Institute, says: "We will see Tree Cities of the World in the UK come together for the first time for a day of sharing, learning, and connecting. Speakers include delegates from recognised Tree Cities, Matt Spitsen from the Arbor Day Foundation, and urban forestry partners such as Treeconomics. This exciting event will really elevate the network in the UK and work towards driving forward the case for urban trees."

Trees for Cities recently attended the European Forum on Urban Forestry in Zagreb, joining a workshop alongside Arbocity, the Spanish lead for Tree Cities of the World, to discuss their role in championing the programme in their respective nations.

Trees for Cities is delighted to champion Trees Cities of the World in the UK to celebrate and throw a spotlight on best practices in urban forestry. Trees are a vital component of urban ecosystems to ensure that our cities grow greener, healthier, and more resilient to climatic change.

Kate Sheldon, CEO at Trees for Cities

The complete list of recognised Tree Cities of the World is available on

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