To quality as a Tree City USA community, a community must meet four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters:
- A Tree Board or Department – someone legally responsible for the care of all trees on city or town-owned property.
- A Tree Care Ordinance.
- A Community Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita
- An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.