Recommended Tree Species
An important idea in developing a comprehensive tree plan is the concept of planting the correct tree in the correct location. Poor planning has often led to an Oak tree being planted under a power line and the future problems with pruning limbs out of the power lines. When it becomes necessary to prune a tree out of a power line, not only does such pruning incur expense but the end result is usually an asymmetric and often ugly tree. With a little forethought and planning it is possible to achieve the “Right Tree in the Right Location” philosophy and ultimately prevent future costly tree maintenance problems. To assist in tree selection the Tree Board has identified the following four categories of trees; however, it is important to note that over time trees can grow into next category. Small trees can become Medium and Medium can become Large trees.
Large Trees – These are trees that grow greater than fifty feet at maturity. Large trees have many attributes that make them an especially important part of any tree plan. Mature trees lining the roadway not only provide an aesthetically pleasing view of the street but the shade created by a dense canopy of trees reduces the amount of retained heat in the road surface and thus reduces the urban heat island effect caused by the sun’s energy being absorbed by exposed areas of pavement (https://www.epa.gov/green-infrastructure/reduce-urban-heat-island-effect). Large trees are often used to border streets and highways; however, care must be taken in deciding how far from the road a mature canopy will be so as not to cause an obstruction to traffic. For urban trees planted near roads and sidewalks, attention to the ultimate needs for root development must be planned. If adequate space for root development does not exist, it would be better to choose a medium or small tree for that location.
Medium Trees - Medium trees range in size from thirty to fifty feet. The medium trees category includes trees that often have interesting and colorful fall foliage. All the benefits normally associated with large trees are also associated with medium trees. The improvement in air quality via a reduction of carbon dioxide, oxygen production and pollution reduction occur with medium trees. Medium trees act as an effective noise and wind barrier, provide habitat for animals, reduce water run-off and provide visual value from their variety of shapes, foliage and color.
Small Trees – This category includes trees that grow less than thirty feet and includes many of the more ornamental and flowering tree varieties. Small trees can add special visual emphasis to a landscape plan when not excessively used in the overall tree plan.
Specimen Trees – Specimen trees are trees that are very mature and frequently are a source of awe and sensation in a landscape plan. They may represent the foundation tree from which an overall landscape plan is developed. Every effort should be taken to preserve mature trees as land development progresses. All too often a developer will completely clear a plot of land to simplify the building process. If one or several specimen trees are growing in the development area, care should be taken to try and preserve those trees and incorporate them into the development plan.
Street Trees – Any tree growing along city managed streets and on property owned or controlled by the City.