Celebrate Arbor Day

Celebrate Arbor Day by helping protect trees and growing our urban tree canopy.

Arbor Day is the perfect time to learn about Pitt’s dedication to trees! The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska to plant trees with prizes offered to counties and individual for planting the most trees. 150 years later, people around the world use this holiday as a way to come together to celebrate trees and teach the importance of environmental stewardship.

For the first time, Pitt’s Pittsburgh campus has been recognized as a Tree Campus from the Arbor Day Foundation. The achievement of this designation reflects Pitt’s commitment to increase urban tree canopy and the implementation of the Campus Tree Care Plan. Pitt is dedicated to increasing tree canopy on and around campus 50% by 2030 from a 2017 baseline.




In one year, an acre of trees can absorb the same amount of carbon emitted by driving 8,700 miles in a gas powered car.



Help Save Trees


The average American uses 446 pounds of paper and cardboard annually. You can help save trees by:

If you do print, use carbon neutral or recycled content paper that is certified by either the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Check out this list of recommended paper from Pitt Purchasing.

Set your print default to double-sided and black and white.

Remembering to recycle!

Each ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees; 380 gallons of oil; 3 cubic yards of landfill space; 4,000 kilowatts of energy; and 7,000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, 58% water savings, and 60 fewer pounds of air pollution (USI, 2022).


Protect Local Trees


There is a lot we can each do to make sure trees around us stay healthy.

  • If you use hammocks or slack lines make sure to use tree safe straps.
  • When you pick a tree to attach to, make sure it is a healthy mature tree and never attach to a tree that is already supporting another hammock or slackline.
  • Protect trees by not chaining, stapling, or carving things into it’s bark. A tree’s bark protects it from diseases and pests; by protecting the bark you are insuring that tree has a long healthy life.
  • Don’t leave things tied to young trees. Trees that have constraints around them can start encasing the object making them are more susceptible to diseases and pests.



Trees properly places around buildings can reduce energy bills up to 30%.



Grow the Urban Forest Canopy


  • Amira Parker carrying Pawpaw tree to plant for Pitt Make a Difference Day.

    Volunteer with local organizations to plant trees or submit an application for your community to receive & care for street trees through TreeVitalize Pittsburgh.

  • Become a Tree Tender! The Office of Sustainability offers Tree Tender trainings annually to Pitt community members. Participants agree to dedicate 2 to 4 hours a month to help take care of Oakland’s street trees in partnership with Oakland Planning & Development Corporation. Volunteer activities include putting your Tree Tender skills to work by weeding, watering, planting, and pruning street trees. If you are interested in helping grow Oakland’s tree canopy signup for Pitt Tree Tender Trainings (delivered by Tree Pittsburgh).
  • When planting trees of your own, make sure you are not planting the tree too deep — and that you pick a species that at its mature size will be right for the space. Tree Pittsburgh has great tips for caring for trees and check out the Pitt Campus Tree Care Plan for species recommendations.
  • Educate others on the many benefits of urban trees from improving air quality, reducing heat island effects, to improving mental health.