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2014 11 15 : The DPNA Invites Neighbors to Plant a Tree

posted Mar 15, 2015, 7:46 AM by Jody Caldwell

Have you ever thought about planting a tree in your yard?  Have you noticed how many blocks in our neighborhood have lost large shade trees?

Deer Park Neighborhood Association is joining the ranks of other neighborhoods throughout the city by starting a canopy tree-planting program.  This effort is in response to data from a recent tree canopy survey that shows a severe decline in canopy trees throughout the city.  According to research out of Georgia Tech on urban heat island effect, Louisville is heating up faster compared to its surrounding rural areas than any other metropolitan area.  The Mayor and organizations throughout the city have responded by stepping up efforts to replace dying and storm-damaged canopy trees.  Deer Park N.A. is eager to join that effort.

What is a canopy tree?  Why are they so important?  Canopy trees are those tallest species in a forest.  In our local eastern deciduous forests, this includes oak, maple, hickory, beech, ash, elm, sycamore, tulip poplar, and many others.  Compare the canopy of these trees with those of understory or “ornamental” trees such as dogwood, redbud, crabapple, flowering cherry, pear, etc.  Canopy species are larger, taller, and provide significantly greater canopy area.

Canopy trees provide numerous services or “natural capital” to urban residents.  An obvious benefit is the reduction in air-conditioning costs that shade trees provide to homes.  And did you know that:

            The evaporation from trees can cool neighborhoods as much as six to eight degrees compared to other non-treed neighborhoods

            Trees absorb hundreds of gallons of water each storm event, helping to prevent flooding in basements

            Trees trap and filter particulate matter and other pollutants, improving air quality and significantly reducing health problems from urban smog   

            Crime rates are lower in urban neighborhoods where there are trees

            Homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly and are worth up to 15% more

            Homes on streets that are entirely tree-lined are worth up to 25% more

            Businesses on tree-lined streets attract more shoppers 

·        And much, much more!

Windstorms and winter weather in the last ten years have led to the loss of many of our neighborhood’s largest canopy trees.  Local ash trees are under attack by the emerald ash borer, and we anticipate losing many if not most of them in the next few years.  [If you have an ash tree in your yard and have not yet treated it against emerald ash borer, please contact an arborist to find out if this is a good option for you.]  The time is ripe for Deer Park to take advantage of local grants and join the ranks of those protecting and enhancing our city’s tree canopy. 

The neighborhood’s program will work like this:

1.        If you are interested in planting a canopy tree in your yard or in the tree easement in front of your house, contact the tree committee (contact information below).

2.        If you would like more information about the program, come to our informational meeting on Saturday, December 6th, at 10:30 a.m. in the basement of the Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church.  We will answer all of your questions and sign up people who are interested in having a tree.

3.        Participants will work with a knowledgeable professional to help you place your tree in the best spot and choose the right species for your location and needs.  All trees in our program will be native canopy or tall understory species.

4.        DPNA is applying for a grant that will cover most of the cost to purchase and plant the trees. Final details will be presented at the December meeting and in future newsletters.  Participants may be asked to pay a nominal fee of $25 to $50 depending on the tree selected.

5.        Participants will attend a class on how to plant and maintain their tree.

Knowledgeable volunteers will help property owners to plant smaller trees. A professional landscaper will plant the larger trees, with costs covered by the grant.  Size and species may depend on your site, availability, and physical ability of the property owner.

We invite renters who would like a tree in your yard to share this information with your landlord/landlady and encourage them to call the number below or come to the December meeting.

If you are interested in participating in this program or would like to learn more, contact Carolyn Cromer at cromercarolyn@gmail.com or 718-5770.   Please join us on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church for an informational meeting and to sign up.

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