Older neighborhoods in south Charlotte such as Dilworth, Stonehaven, Beverly Woods, Olde Providence, Hembstead, Ballantyne, Piper Glen and many more are getting trees planted “in open air spaces” as part of additional money marked in 2011 for tree beautification, says Don McSween, the city’s arborist.In 2011 “our street planting money was increased from $100,000 to $300,000,” he said, noting that an additional $200,000 was approved for a new public/private initiative called TreesCharlotte to plant trees on private land. The additional $200,000 beefed up this year’s budget, meaning 1,600 elms, maple, oaks and more are being planted by the city’s Landscape Division to increase neighborhood values, replace older trees that have been lost and maintain the urban tree canopy. The plan was developed by the city to ensure its reputation as the “City of Trees.” The trees will be planted across the city with hundreds aimed for south Charlotte.Adding trees cleans the city’s air, reduces storm water-run off, and cools streets and homes for energy efficiency, McSween said. Laura Brewer, the city’s assistant arborist, added that trees also “reduce vacancy rates for businesses, increase the amount of time and money spent by shoppers in treed areas, and has been shown to reduce crime, reduce hospital recovery time and other things. Trees do so much more than most people realize.” To have additional trees planted by the city, neighborhoods in south Charlotte must meet the following criteria: have areas that are within the city’s-right-of-way, planting strips of more than 4 feet wide and distance from conflicts such as 40 feet from another large maturing tree, 8 to 10 feet from driveways, meters or other structures and 35 feet from intersections. The trees are planted by certified arborists, Brewer said, and include willow oak, maple, elm, poplar, back gum, bald cypress and some oak in larger spaces. Small maturing trees such as dogwood, redbud, crape myrtle and serviceberry are planted in smaller neighborhood strips. South Charlotte neighborhoods getting new trees include those in the following zip codes: 28105, 28226, 28207, 28270, 28203, 28209, 28210, 28211 and 28277. The city’s Cooperative Tree Program, which partners with older neighbors, has not been used recently because of the extra funds, McSween said. Tree plantings, however, are required in new subdivisions, new multi-family projects and commercial properties. The city arborist oversees protection, planting, and maintenance of trees on public property and street trees in the public right-of-way. Permits are required to plant or remove any trees in the right-of-way. When there is a concern about a tree on a city street, residents can call Landscape Management for inspection.Since March 2002, the city’s Urban Forestry staff oversees tree protection and planting of trees on commercial properties and in new residential subdivisions. There are five urban foresters that do plan review, approval and inspection on private property. “Our biggest reason for planting and replanting trees is for canopy cover. In 2011, the city adopted a goal of having 50 percent tree canopy by 2050. A lot of that planting will also have to occur on private property because the amount of city right-of-way is very small by comparison to privately-owned property,” said Brewer. That’s where TreesCharlotte steps in. The city’s public/private initiative to plant trees on private land will mean even more new tree plantings throughout this year with approximately 1,500 plantings planned for 2013, said David Cable, director of the city program. The group’s goal is to eventually plant 15,000 trees annually using volunteers and private funds. “It’s a goal that we will eventually ramp up to,” he said. “It will probably take us four or five years to get to that point.”This year, the group’s NeighborWoods program, working with the Charlotte Housing Authority, will plant about 1,200 trees in neighborhoods with very little trees. “We will also plant roughly 3,000 reforestation trees, small whip trees, along streams and planted in a tight grid of about 400 an acre,” said Cable. “That’s a much higher density and is so important to water quality in our area.” According to the TreesCharlotte website, the program engages volunteers to plant and take care of trees. TreesCharlotte was launched with support from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Foundation for The Carolinas, and the Blumenthal Foundation. More recent supporters include Carolinas HealthCare System, Crescent Resources, and Duke Energy Foundation.
Friday, Feb. 01, 2013
New trees planted across south Charlotte
City to use 1,600; public/private initiative hopes to plant 1,500 more
A new tree is planted in from of a home in Hembstead as part of the city's annual tree canopy plan. KATHLEEN E. CONROYfirstname.lastname@example.org
Hembstead, a subdivision off Hwy. 51, received about 40 trees in the last year. Many of those new trees from the city were to replace bradford pear trees that had died. KATHLEEN E. CONROYemail@example.com
Two trees along a lawn in Hembstead show where the city has planted trees to increase the city's tree canopy. City officials have set a goal of 50 percent tree canopy over Charlotte by 2050. KATHLEEN E. CONROYfirstname.lastname@example.org
Stonehaven, off Rama Road, has more than 10 new trees that have been planted recently by the city's Landscape Management Division. KATHLEEN E. CONROYemail@example.com
Learn more: Have a concern about older trees on public property? Call the city’s Landscape Management Department, 704-336-4262. South Charlotte neighborhoods getting new trees include those in the following zip codes: 28105, 28226, 28207, 28270, 28203, 28209, 28210, 28211 and 28277. Want to help? TreesCharlotte is seeking volunteers to help plant trees on private land. Donations are also accepted to purchase new trees. TreesCharlotte also encourages Charlotte residents to plant a tree in their yard this year and water and care for the trees you have. Tree advice can be found at www.treecharlotte.org. To volunteer or make a donation, or call Dave Cable, 704-577-2004.