Photo courtesy of www.pedbikeimages.org
/ Dan Burden
Trees are an integral, if often overlooked, part of the visual
character of a community. Neighborhoods with canopies of large,
mature trees are inviting to residents and pedestrians. Trees
provide shade and climate control during hot summer months. Unusual,
large and old trees have particular unique aesthetic and historic
values to a community. Trees placed between the sidewalk and curb
make pedestrians feel safely separated from traffic.
As part of a subdivision or site plan application, municipalities
can require preparation of a tree removal and replacement plan
that preserves as many mature trees as possible. Communities can
budget (or apply for grants) for the planting and maintenance
of street trees, or use funds to hire a professional forester
to provide advice on proper tree care. Municipalities can use
an ordinance or incentives to encourage landowners to preserve
trees or replace ones that can not be preserved.
Parking lot shade ordinances can also be adopted to reduce temperatures
and improve aesthetics in a community. Schools and civic organizations
can engage in tree planting programs to increase the presence
of trees in residential neighborhoods and commercial thoroughfares.
Locally, people can learn about what hardy varieties of trees
would be appropriate to plant by contacting Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.