Mission and History

CRTI was founded with the vision that the Chicago region will be the greenest, most livable, most resilient region in North America.

We work to ensure that trees are healthier, more abundant, more diverse, and more equitably distributed to provide important benefits to all who live in the Chicago region.

Our Mission

CRTI is a partnership for coordinated action to improve the health, diversity, and equitable distribution of trees in the Chicago region, to benefit people and communities.

Learn more about CRTI’s impact

The Tree Census

In 2010, The Morton Arboretum, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, undertook the first tree census of the seven-county Chicago region forest. The census provided a greater understanding of the forest’s value and a basis for developing a plan to manage and curtail rising threats. It was the largest effort of its kind in the country, producing valuable scientific data about the benefits provided by trees. It also made clear the numerous threats and challenges to maintaining a healthy tree population in the region.

Learn more about the tree census

A Partnership to Protect Trees

To address the issues identified by the census, CRTI was launched in July 2014 by The Morton Arboretum as a partnership for coordinated action to improve the health, diversity, and equitable distribution of trees in the Chicago region, to benefit people and communities. Today, it is the largest initiative of its kind in the United States. It brings together more than 200 partners from the tree industry, schools, communities, and government organizations with a comprehensive plan to lead regional action through 2050.

Learn more about our partners