If you made it to yesterday’s meetup at the Hyde Center, you would have had a chance to meet Director of Urban Forestry Marc Welch and have a look at where your neighborhood is compared to other in degree of street tree loss, and how soon you might be getting trees. (We’d heard the outline of the planting plan at Urban Tree Commission meetings, but had not seen the maps.) The map above shows what percent of tree planting spots were empty in a street by street survey done in 2010-2011, by snowplow route. (Snowplow routes are a good way to do this type of survey, to ensure that no stretch is missed.) Since the survey is a couple of years old, and more trees have been lost than planted since, all the percentages could be a little higher, but the worst are probably still the worst.
The second map shows the 15-year planting plan, which will start in the first five years with the routes most lacking trees. In the first couple of years, starting this fall, about 125 trees per year will be planted per year with contractors, because that is more economical for a small volume. (The range could be 100-150 trees, depending on how many stumps they run into that need grinding.) The plan is to ramp up to 800 trees/year by year 4 and continue at that level, which would be more economical to do in-house with a second tree crew. At that rate we would finally be planting more trees than the 650/year we are losing, and also moving away from the monoculture of Norway maples, to a more diverse and healthy urban forest. Something to look forward to!