City Aims to Improve Street Tree Efforts

Of the 3,000 street trees cut down in the city over the past 12 years, officials say fewer than 100 have been replaced.

In their place are empty tree wells or patches of asphalt.

There are trees in the city that have not been trimmed or pruned in 15 years, yielding an overabundance of leaves and an average of 20 complaints to City Hall every day, officials say.

The city's response to those gripes has been admittedly slow.

On Monday, the City Council will begin work on a long-awaited plan to plant more trees and improve maintenance of the 32,000 street trees citywide.

The council will consider conceptual approval of a tree advisory committee to recommend ways to fund and improve street tree maintenance and replacement.

Officials also are mulling the idea of establishing a volunteer pool of money to help maintain trees, and a hotline to lay out tree-pruning plans and other information.

City staff members also hope to seek corporate support and grant opportunities to increase city spending on tree maintenance, and consideration of special tax assessment districts in neighborhoods where property owners want to increase maintenance levels.

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