Tree Commission: Inventory, Recommended Planting & Education

 In Tree Commission

By Troy Ackerman, President, Tree Commission

The Tree Commission is digging deep roots in our community! Thanks to a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)—and matching dollars from the city—we’re going to start a tree inventory, which we first shared about last fall.

The tree inventory will identify and evaluate approximately 5,000 trees on city streets and in parks. The information gathered will be used to develop a tree management plan. By understanding the species and sizes of trees that exist today, we’ll be able to create a plan for moving toward our goal of a full-over tree canopy. It will also help us calculate environmental or ecological benefits, such as the amount of carbon dioxide or storm water that trees will absorb.

In addition to the tree inventory, we plan to use the grant funds to create an online tool where residents can enter their address and see what the tree inventory is in that area. This will allow residents to safely add to the diversity of trees in their part of the community.

Recommended Trees and Care Information

Another way the Tree Commission is planting seeds is through community education. Our new list of recommended trees is one of the first ways we’re helping educate the community. These trees are the most ideal for our region and do well in our climate and soil type. Our desire is to partner with the community to get the urban landscape back to what the native landscape was like.

We’ll also provide more community education before the Parks Department’s annual Arbor Day event in April. The Tree Commission will share more about how to plant and care for the free seedlings that will be available at the event. More on the Arbor Day event will be announced by the Parks Department in the coming weeks.

Finally, we’re also working with the DNR to offer tree steward training for those who are interested in tree care. Watch the City of Auburn Facebook or Twitter channels for more on future educational efforts.

Prune Trees in Late Winter

While many are waiting for spring to plant, there are things you can and should be doing yet this winter.

February and March are the best months to prune trees (dead, broken or diseased branches). There are several reasons why pruning in the winter is good for trees:

  • Without foliage, it’s easier to see branch structure.
  • Trees go dormant during the winter, so with extra energy reserves, trees heal more quickly.
  • Winter pruning helps shape your trees to grow in the best manner later in the spring and summer.

Join Efforts. Stay Involved!

I’m excited to be part of the newly reactivated Tree Commission (see other members). We want to play a meaningful role in the planting, protecting and preserving our city’s natural environment. I hope the community will join our efforts. Together, we can make lasting improvements that will be enjoyed for generations to come!

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