Land Management - Tree Protection and Planting
Trees bring both economic and environmental benefits to communities. They provide shade, habitat for wildlife, and help reduce noise and visual pollution. Trees add value to neighborhoods, mitigate runoff and erosion, and help reduce global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the air.
New construction − especially development of previously "virgin" land − often leads to the loss of some trees and damage to others during the construction process. A strong and vigorously enforced municipal tree protection policy is essential for every green community.
Another concern for municipalities is tree damage during storms. Many communities have developed relationships with commercial sawmills or other companies that have use for logs, allowing them to recycle or sell tree removals − a "recycling" strategy which can potentially turn a cost-burden scenario into an income-generating opportunity.
The Community Tree Preservation Task Force of the Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee (MnSTAC) has written a Guide to Developing a Community Tree Preservation Ordinance. The mission of the Task Force is to preserve existing trees during development.
The U. S. Forest Service has an Urban and Community Forestry Program that provides technical, financial, educational, and research services to states, cities, and nonprofit groups so they can plant, protect, maintain, and utilize wood from community trees and forests to maximize environmental, social and economic benefits.
Book: The Tree Tenders Handbook, published by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, is a well-written and comprehensive guide to selecting and caring for street trees in urban and suburban areas.
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.