Unlike New Albany, “The people of Somerville, Massachusetts really, really care about trees.”


In New Albany, tree board meetings are held in the afternoon. The public barely knows, since the city’s web site is rarely updated.

New Albany’s Tree Board — statute, staff and board members.


It may suck for trees in New Gahania, but it makes junta campaign financing so very much easier.

In The Mood For Drama? Go To An Urban Tree Hearing, by Cara Giaimo (Atlas Obscura)

The people of Somerville, Massachusetts really, really care about trees.

Sometime last month, the street trees of Somerville, Massachusetts were overtaken by a strange crop. Seemingly overnight, vertical inhabitants of all sorts—sprawling neighborhood giants, slim sidewalk-shaders, even the occasional telephone pole—sprouted identical flyers. In inch-high all-caps, in standard bureaucratic font, the signs carried an ominous message: “NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING,” they read, “IN RELATION TO THE REMOVAL OF THIS TREE.”

In another city, such an appearance might amount to a death sentence for the trees. It’s easy to imagine busy urbanites walking or biking right past these signs, en route to work or the grocery store, thinking “that’s too bad”—and then, months later when the chainsaws come, thinking it again.

But this is Somerville, winner of a Tree City USA award at least 17 years running. Such honors do not come without a populace committed to tree preservation. So at 5:30 pm on a balmy Thursday, a good 50 people have stuffed themselves inside the city’s Water Department Building to exercise their arboreal rights.