Thanks to our citizens' love and care for trees, we enjoy nearly 50 percent canopy cover and are proud to be a Tree City USA Community for 34 consecutive years.

Trees cool the summer air, filter dust and pollution, provide cover for wildlife, beautify our surroundings, and so much more.  The Town encourages preservation of our urban forest, and with special state legislative authority has been regulating clear-cutting since July 2002.

Join Us 

Use the tips and resources below to plant trees on your property. Follow us as we plant trees in our community. Together we’ll celebrate our efforts and the environmental and economic value trees provide our community.

Arbor Day

Celebrate the importance of trees with our Arbor Day Celebration in downtown Cary.


Planting a tree in springtime? Check mulched areas and shrub beds for seedlings that need transplanting. The smaller the seedling, the better the chance of survival. Trees such as maple, ash and dogwood germinate in the spring, and first-year seedlings are easier to move successfully. Oaks and other trees germinate in the fall. 

The National Arbor Day Foundation lists nine things you should know about trees.

Check out the NC Forest Service for more about the benefits of urban forests. 


With the right touch, mulch retains soil moisture, acts as a buffer from extreme temperatures and suppresses weeds. When time to mulch, know what’s needed:

  • Check the depth of existing mulch and, if sufficient, use a rake to break it up and refresh the look.
  • Think 3x3x3: up to three inches of mulch, at least three inches away from the trunk, in a circle three feet wide or to the edge of the canopy when possible. 
Following these suggestions prevents you from creating a "mulch volcano," mulching too high and too deep around tree trunks. These mounds of mulch are bad news for tree growth and development. They make tree bark prone to disease, attracts insects and rodents, and affects root development.
The NC Urban Forest Council provides more tree mulching tips.

Tree Diseases

Emerald Ash Borer
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Tree Identification

The National Arbor Day Foundation has information on tree identification.

The Plant Information Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill lists common North Carolina trees.

Local Resources

The J.C. Raulston Arboretum is on the west side of Raleigh.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden is in Chapel Hill.
The N.C. Division of Forest Resources operates a system of educational state forests.