Since 1976, the City of Orlando has met the requirements to be an Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA, holding the record for the longest designation of cities in Florida. Recognizing the important role trees have in the environment, as well as their aesthetic value, Orlando has operated an active tree care section since about 1917 when the City Parks department sent letters to residents asking them to pay one dollar for a tree to be planted in front of their homes.
The city's dedication to protecting existing trees and the encouragement given land owners to add trees to their property has helped Orlando receive the Tree City Growth Award since 1990 and to be named Sterling Tree City USA in 2011 for their participation in that program.
Follow the City of Orlando Significant Tree Map to discover interesting and unusual trees around the downtown area. There are seven stops on tour which weaves down and around city streets, each having an interesting tree or group of trees to see:
- Mayor Carl T. Langford park - variety of mature tree species in a park setting including Shumard, Swamp Chestnut, Laurel and Live Oak
- Dickenson Azalea Park - large Long-Leaf Pines and a laid over Live Oak tree
- Constitution Green Park - 125 to 175 year old Live Oak tree demonstrating crown adaptation
- Lake Eola Park - large Live Oak trees along Central Boulevard that survive due to 900 feet of aeration pipes supplying oxygen to their roots
- Big Tree Park - location of Orlando's oldest living tree estimated to be 350 to 400 years old
- Harry P. Leu Gardens - mature Camphor trees, a non-native invasive species
- Loch Haven Park - a 200 year old Live Oak named "The Mayor" stands testimony to the the ability of the species to survive after catastrophic damage to limbs