SMA Tree of the Year

Each year, a panel of experts reviews and selects an SMA Tree of the Year. The tree must meet qualifications such as suitability for the urban environment, noteworthy ornamental attributes, and in many cases, be considered underutilized. Check out the Tree of the Year below! 

2023 Tree of the Year
Jacaranda mimosifolia

The Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) has named blue jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) its 2023 Urban Tree of the Year. Spin the globe, and at the right time of year, you’ll find blue jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) lighting up streets and parks with its blue-purple flower panicles in every subtropical or warm climate, including regions within Australia, Myanmar, India, South Africa, Spain, Chile, and the United States. Even climates with an occasional light frost may support blue jacaranda trees.  

Though its distribution as a cultivated tree is vast, blue jacaranda’s native range is limited to southern Bolivia and northwestern Argentina. As is often the case for trees occurring in such a narrow range, the native blue jacaranda population in these South American pockets is considered vulnerable.

It should be noted that in some of the same places where jacaranda is celebrated (parts of Queensland, Australia and in Pretoria, South Africa, for instance), there have been concerns about jacaranda’s invasiveness and displacement of native plants in those regions. In such places, municipalities have had to strike a balance between these concerns and the powerful public affinity for the showy tree.

Tree Details 
: 9 meters/30 feet to 25 meters/82 feet
Flower color: Blue-purple
Light: Full-sun
Hardiness zone: 10-11

Tree of the Year Video Highlight