Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More Interest Buds in Promoting Trees in Least Green Areas

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More Interest Buds in Promoting Trees in Least Green Areas

Article excerpt

City neighborhoods with the least amount of tree canopy will be inventoried this winter and next spring as Tree Pittsburgh begins implementing recommendations in the urban forest master plan that was completed earlier this year.

One of the priorities in the plan is to reach out to neighborhoods that least benefit from the urban forest, and an inventory will start that process. Tree Pittsburgh is a private, nonprofit group dedicated to restoring and protecting the city's trees, using funds from sources such as the city's Shade Tree Commission.

The commission recently granted Tree Pittsburgh $10,000 to begin a multi-phase project starting with 2,000 trees in tree-poor neighborhoods. The inventory will take into account the condition and species of each tree.

"Part of the Shade Tree Commission's mandate is a tree inventory, so this is just progressing on work that was done with the street tree inventory" of 2005, said Matt Erb, Tree Pittsburgh's director of urban forestry and a commission member. The commission is a quasi- governmental nonprofit whose members are appointed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

In 2005, Davey Resource Group of Kent, Ohio, did an inventory of the city's street trees to determine the number, condition and species. There were 30,538 street trees.

A 2007 survey in parks came up with 5,666 trees. The urban forest master plan, which can be viewed at www.treepittsburgh.org, used the data from all previous studies to determine the best course for managing this green resource. It also developed a plan for counting the rest of the city's public trees.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has already counted the trees in Frick, Schenley, Highland and Riverview parks; the Allegheny Commons trees have been counted as part of that park's own master plan.

"We will be inventorying in playgrounds and community parks" and other public landscaped areas that are not sidewalks, Mr. Erb said. The data will be used to plan for tree care and planting at each site.

The lowest tree numbers are in Chateau, the North Shore and Downtown, all of which have less than 10 percent of shaded area. The Strip District, Uptown and South Side Flats are tied with 12 percent. …

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