#TreeCityUSATuesday

Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee WIMilwaukee has received Tree City USA designation for 35 years and has been awarded the Growth Award six times.

Home to nearly 600,000 residents, Milwaukee offers scenic landscapes and natural beauty for those looking for a quick escape. Milwaukee’s urban and community forest covers nearly 22% of the city and features more than three million trees.

Nearly 500 tons of pollution is eliminated from the air every year as a result of the city’s urban forest. That equates to $2.6 million in savings annually. The urban forest’s shade saves the city more than $800,000 annually in energy costs.

Whether you’re sailing along Lake Michigan or wandering through Milwaukee’s parks, the city’s vibrant treescape and fresh air are both positive attributes to which all cities should aspire.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Seattle Celebrates Arbor Day in October

While the National Arbor Day observance is celebrated on the last Friday in April, many states and municipalities have implemented state or locally recognized Arbor Days that reflect the best time for planting in their region.  One such city is Seattle, which celebrates Arbor Day in October.

Seattle ArborDaySeattle has received Tree City USA designation for 28 years, and has been awarded the Tree City USA Growth Award 17 times.

Seattle residents are invited to join urban foresters in a tree planting on Saturday, October 18. Volunteers will plant 13 street trees in selected planting strips. The tree planting will bring urban foresters from five departments of the City of Seattle together: Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle City Light—also a recognized Tree Line USA, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, and the Office of sustainability and Environment.

Seattle has a strong urban forestry program; you can read up on the city’s achievements in our #TreeCityUSATuesday blog feature.

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Portland, OR

Portland has been designated a Tree City USA community for 37 years and Growth Award recipient 17 times.

Portland ORPortland delivers when it comes to urban forestry. Home to more trees than people—1.4 million trees and a population of 584,000—Portland is a city of distinct character.  With more than 70 miles of trails and 200 parks within city limits, nature enthusiasts have no problem finding refuge in any of the city’s green spaces.

Portland’s tree canopy coverage is at 30% and reduces energy costs by $750,000 annually. In addition, the urban and community forest has served as a stormwater management system intercepting half a billion tons of water and saving the city $11 million in stormwater processing.

The community forest removes as much as two million pounds of pollutants from the air and adds more than $13 million in property resale value.

The overall benefit of Portland’s urban and community trees is such that their structural value is estimated at $5 billion. That’s a significant sum and an excellent return on investment!

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

New York, NY

NYCNew York City has received Tree City USA designation for 18 years and has received the Growth Award five times.

This city of dreams has a vision of its own: it wants to be America’s first sustainable city. For outsiders, the idea of a greener New York may seem ambitious for such a congested social and business hub. How will the city achieve such a goal?

Through the implementation of an exceptional yet practical effort introduced by former Mayor Bloomberg called PlaNYC.

The plan— unveiled in 2007— brought together 25 city agencies to work toward strengthening the economy, combating climate change, and enhancing the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

This city of eight million residents is currently home to five million trees. Don’t be deceived by the concrete jungle, as nearly 40 percent—11,000 acres— of New York City is parkland. The city’s trees remove 2,202 tons of pollution per year. In addition, building energy savings equate to $11.2 million per year. Under MillionTreesNYC, the city aims to plant one million trees by 2017.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Washington, DC

DCWashington D.C. has been a recognized Tree City USA community for 23 years and a five-time Tree City USA Growth Award recipient.

With a population of 600,000, the District of Columbia demonstrates its dedication to strengthening its urban forestry program as much as it does to policy making. Boasting a tree canopy coverage at 35 percent, locals are able to find shade under any of the city’s 1.9 million trees with ease.

If you’re looking to visit the nation’s capital city you might want to plan your trip in the spring to coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival—one of the nation’s greatest springtime celebrations.

When you’re not enjoying the fresh scent of Japanese Cherry Blossoms you might take notice of the clean air; D.C.’s treescape removes 540 tons of pollution every year. In addition to attracting thousands of tourists, the urban canopy saves $2.6 million in energy usage annually and has a structural value of $3.6 billion.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Austin, TX

austin txAustin has received Tree City USA designation for 22 years and has been awarded the Growth Award twice.

Austin is celebrated for its foodies, historians, and tech geeks. With nearly 15,000 trees spread across the city, Austinites have plenty of options to enjoy shade under the city’s 30 percent tree canopy.

The cuisine scene isn’t the only diverse attraction in the city, as Austin’s urban and community forest is comprised of nearly 200 different tree species including popular choices such as crape myrtles, southern live oaks, and cedar elms. Diverse treescapes make picnicking more enjoyable in any of the local parks that account for 18 percent of the city. With regular sunshine and natural attractions, Austin makes it easy to fall in love with the great outdoors.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte has been designated a Tree City USA community for 34 years.

Charlotte NCA major US financial center, Charlotte is proving that its riches extend beyond currency.  Charlotte— with a population nearing 800,000— is home to 85,000 publicly managed trees and an astonishing 46 percent tree canopy coverage. Charlotte’s extensive urban and community forest provides the city with nearly $1 million in annual energy savings.

And the benefits don’t stop there, as Charlotte’s trees help save as much as $2 million every year in stormwater management. In addition, the city’s community forest has increased property value by $2.7 million.

Charlotte is establishing itself as a leader in both the financial services industry and in urban and community forestry. If you’re a fan of green public space, you might very well enjoy all that Charlotte has to offer.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Denver, CO

Denver has been designated a Tree City USA community for 27 years, and was awarded the prestigious Tree City USA Growth Award twice for its increased commitment to urban and community forestry.

denv skylineWith a population of more than 600,000, the mile high city offers more than just scenic landscapes. Denver’s urban and community forest, with 2.2 million trees, shades nearly 20% of the city. So how do these trees benefit Denver residents? For starters, Denver’s park systems increased property value by $31 million. More trees also mean greater energy savings, equivalent to more than $6.7 million annually.

Additionally, a comprehensive survey of 600 Denver residents revealed that Denver’s parks contributed $65 million in health savings by increasing physical activity and lowering medical expenses.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

#TreeCityUSATuesday

Seattle, WA

seattle waSeattle has received Tree City USA designation for 28 years, and has been awarded the Tree City USA Growth Award 17 times.

In addition, Seattle City Light —the city’s foremost public utility company providing electricity— has been recognized as a 2013 Tree Line USA Utility.

Seattle, with a population of more than 600,000, is home to more than 4 million trees with 23% tree canopy coverage. Seattle is doing a superb job of maintaining its urban and community forest, and continually striving to improve, with a goal to reach 30% tree canopy coverage by the year 2037. Additionally, the city’s tree canopy reduces energy usage by $6 million annually.

The overall benefit of Seattle’s urban and community trees is such that their replacement value is estimated at $5 billion. That’s a significant sum and an excellent return on investment!

A city like Seattle that prides itself on its urban and community forestry efforts is worth celebrating

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Can the Latest Advancement in Urban Infrastructure Benefit Your City?

One of the most common problems urban trees face is having sufficient soil and space to properly grow. Crowded cities make it challenging to mimic the natural environment in which trees thrive. Thanks to emerging green technology, cities are beginning to implement greener practices in construction that are saving cities tree repair costs down the road and creating a healthier setting for trees to grow.

silvaCell2[1]

Silva cells allow water and nutrients to reach tree roots through loose soil.

Ordinarily when trees are planted in metropolitan settings they are buried under hard surfaces such as sidewalks and roads. These surfaces have to be robust enough to handle heavy vehicles. Naturally, the result of such weight is soil compaction. Soil compaction constricts water, air, and nutrients from reaching the roots, stunting the growth of trees and even leading to structural failures.

In 2007 DeepRoot introduced the Silva cell —the first commercially available soil containment system to be used in construction that supports heavy asphalt surfaces without compacting soil surrounding tree roots — a breakthrough in urban infrastructure.

So how does it work?

photo 4

Silva cells being installed in Lincoln, NE

The rigid frame is designed like a modular suspended pavement by transferring above ground loads down to a compacted sub-base while the inside of the system is filled with loose soil for roots to access. In addition to the loose soil, the system also acts as a stormwater management system, absorbing runoff and storing a large amount of water, creating an underground rain garden.

While the technology is new and still evolving, there have been more than 500 installations of Silva cells in 10 different countries. The results have been outstanding with reports of healthy tree growth, including longer bud extensions and trees flourishing to full maturity.

Lincoln, Nebraska is participating in the trend with four installations of Silva Cells at construction sites, including near the Arbor Day Foundation headquarter offices.

Is your city installing Silva cells? What other approaches is your city implementing to promote healthy urban and community forests? You may also enjoy reading our How to Save Trees During Construction, a Tree City USA Bulletin.