Esplanade Tree Care

Esplanade Park Tree Management

Tree Inventory

In 2015, the Esplanade Association introduced a new tree inventory management program called ArborScope™, the latest in sustainable, high-tech landscape management software. The Esplanade Association hired Bartlett Tree Experts to perform an inventory of over 1,700 trees on the Esplanade and compile this information into the ArborScope database. The program overlays the inventory and assessment on top of Google™ Maps to provide a simple and efficient means of viewing, updating, and querying any tree information.

This information allows us to rate the health of each tree in the park and create a plan for care priorities. We now know where specific tree care — such as pruning, fertilizing, and root aeration is most needed — and we are able to track the work that’s been done to ensure that every tree benefits from routine care.

Tree Management & Succession Plan

Building on the 2015 tree inventory, in 2019 the Esplanade Association released a first-of-its-kind Tree Care Management & Succession Plan — the result of a collaborative effort between the Esplanade Association, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture. This plan helps secure the future health of park trees by increasing species diversity, laying guidelines for succession plantings to replace dead and declining trees, and making recommendations for preventative care, such as pruning and air spading. It has been approved by the Boston Landmarks Commission, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the Conservation Commission.

In addition to solutions that will improve the health of our tree canopy, the Tree Management & Succession Plan provides planting recommendations that are informed by the original, historic planting plans created by landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff. Learn more about the history of the park here.

Climate Change & The Impact of 1,700 Trees

The trees along the Esplanade are helping to mitigate the impact of climate change through their extensive root systems and foliage. For example, each 18” caliper tree, which represents 44% of the tree population along the Esplanade, filters approximately 2,490 gallons of storm water runoff in the Charles River and captures 636 pounds of CO2 per year through its foliage. With a population of 1,700 trees, this impact is significantly magnified and represents a benefit to the community of park users and society as a whole.

*Storm water and CO2 calculations determined through the National Tree Benefit Calculator. It is based on the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree STREETS assessment. 

We Need Your Support!

Your donation ensures the successful execution of the Tree Management & Succession plan, directly supporting multiple years of pruning and removals, watering, soil improvements, and the planting of over 200 new trees.

Please help support our tree care by donating today. With your help, we can ensure that the park will continue to be a place where you can relax and find shade beneath healthy, beautiful trees.

How Can You Support the Trees of the Esplanade?

Make a Donation Today
Sponsor A Tree on the Esplanade

We can’t do this work alone. If you are interested in supporting tree care efforts on the Esplanade, please contact Julie Duddy at

Esplanade tree care is made possible with the support of the One Four Three Four Foundation, the Beacon Hill Garden Club, the Biber Foundation, the Boston Planning & Development Agency, the Boston Community Preservation Act, the Garden Club of Back Bay, the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.