Tree City USA

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today. Chinese Proverb

Mature trees add priceless value to Bronxville. Fortunately, the care of generations of homeowners and village stewards has left us with an impressive tree canopy made up of mature northern red oaks, white oaks, towering tulip poplars, sycamores, maples, American beech, white ash, white pine and sweet gums.

The importance of a large tree canopy in our community

Purifies the air by removing dangerous compounds, such as carbon monoxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide; and particulate matter such as pollen, dust, and soot. According to, a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide and release oxygen in exchange in one year.

Helps clean our drinking water by acting as huge sponges and redirecting rainwater back to soil where natural processes filter out pollutants and refill underground water supplies.

Creates a landscape resistant to flooding by absorbing rainwater – it’s estimated that 100 mature trees can absorb 250,000 gallons of rainwater per year.

Cools the air - Trees can lower daytime surface temperature up to 10 degrees F and nighttime temperatures up to 22 degrees F by releasing water vapor through their leaves. The result is fewer incidents of heat exhaustion and less energy required to run air conditioners.

Provides habitat and food resources for local wildlife.

Promotes a beautiful community aesthetic and connection to nature that enhance emotional and physical wellbeing.

How can Bronxville best preserve and restore its existing tree canopy?

As Bronxville’s trees age, they approach the end of their natural lives. One hundred years is elderly for the urban/suburban trees in our Village. Street trees have an average lifespan of only 25 years.

  • Planting new trees of different species over many years is the best way to help ensure that the village won’t lose its trees all at once due to old age, pests or storms.

  • Plant keystone native species—trees that support the highest number of bird, bee, butterfly, and beneficial insect species.

  • One mature native oak tree can support almost 500 different species! Pin oak, white oak, and red oak are all good choices.

  • Others to look for include: Red maple; silver maple (never Norway maple, an invasive and destructive species), American beech, Black cherry, Black birch, Juniper

  • Replace lawn under trees with native plantings and mulched or whole leaves, to provide habitat for pollinators and protect the tree’s root system. Compacting soil around tree roots is unhealthy for them.

  • Planting several trees—even those that will become large canopy trees--relatively close together will allow their roots to intertwine as they grow, creating more of a wind break and strengthening their root systems against strong winds and rain.

  • Avoid inadvertently planting invasive species such as Norway maple. This imported plant was considered an excellent addition to backyard landscapes until its seeds spread into natural areas, where its early leaf bloom shades out and kills the forest understory. Norway maples should be avoided and if you already have them in your yard, consider removing them. Be on your guard: they are still readily sold in many plant nurseries.

  • Avoid using pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.

Bronxville has been designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for more than a decade.

Maintaining that coveted distinction will require more tree care and planning in our community as trees face increasing threats from stronger and more frequent storms, an expanded human-built environment, invasive species, and disease.

Best Care for Trees

Town administrator Jim Palmer encourages homeowners to get an assessment of their trees by a trained and experienced arborist. Once their trees are pruned, repaired, and if necessary, removed, owners will enjoy far greater peace of mind.

According to, after a major storm, homeowners should pause and assess the situation rather than follow the natural impulse to immediately clean up. Often damaged trees can be saved, but only a professional can tell you how to do that. recommends six rules to follow:

  • Don’t try to do it all yourself.

  • Take safety precautions.

  • Remove broken branches still. attached to the tree.

  • Repair torn bark.

  • Resist the urge to over prune.

  • Never top your trees.