When is the Best Time to Plant a Tree?
Answer: 30 Years Ago or Right Now!
A widely-publicized 2012 study and 2019 update by the Cuyahoga County Planning Department reported that the County continues to lose tree canopy. This is important because as climate change continues to impact our region, stormwater runoff with less trees to absorb it will continue to overload our aging infrastructure. Trees also have a mitigating effect on extreme temperatures, while they increase home values by beautifying properties.
As we lose canopy due to our mature urban forest and severe storms, it is more important than ever to replant those areas of our community. Below are two new programs that the City’s Tree Advisory Board has undertaken in 2021 in a collaboration with The Heights Tree People, a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to planting trees in front yards and parklands in the Heights area.
The Free Front Yard Tree Program
The Heights Tree People planted 76 trees in the front yards of Shaker residents this spring. Residents were able to select “the right tree for the right spot." The residents then arranged to have the utility lines marked. The Heights Tree People ordered, planted, mulched and caged the new tree for deer protection. Additionally, residents received watering instructions. Due to the high demand in Shaker for this new program, it will be offered again this fall with modified parameters.
The Heights Tree People planted 27 trees in Southerly Park between South and West Park boulevards on April 10 with the help of numerous volunteers and the City of Shaker Heights. The goal of this project was to increase tree canopy in areas in our parklands. The planting was funded by a $1000 grant by the Cuyahoga Soil & Water District and $800 from the Hermes Foundation LGBTQ Fund. The Doan Brook Watershed Partnership and the City’s Tree Advisory Board provided technical assistance.