Lakewood Planted Hundreds of Trees This FallNovember 25, 2016
Like it does each fall, the city of Lakewood is putting down roots around Lakewood.
The city recently completed its citywide fall tree planting effort, and this year planted a total of 420 trees citywide throughout the year, encompassing 15 different species of trees. The city’s department of streets and forestry is striving to increase the diversity of Lakewood’s urban forest, continuing to optimize Lakewood’s level of investment in trees.
At the conclusion of the fall planting season, the city will have planted nearly 1,200 trees the past three years to grow the next generation of trees while continuing to maintain the health and vigor of all trees in the Lakewood Urban Forest – to capture the long-term ecological, economic and social benefits; and for public safety.
At the conclusion of the fall 2016 planting season, the city of Lakewood public tree inventory will consist of 12,912 trees — the city’s highest number to date — with improved species diversity. The top-10 tree species make up 52 percent of the population and one genus — ACER (Maple) — comprises 21 percent of the total population. In 1996, it was determined that just 10 tree species comprised 82 percent of the population and that one genus — ACER (Maple) — comprised 39 percent of the total population.
“Species diversity is important so that the urban forest is resilient to insect and disease threats and the impacts of climate change,” said Chris Perry, the city’s arborist and projects manager for the city’s Department of Public Works. “Many pests and diseases attack a whole genus, so diversity is a must. Street monoculture has proven to be detrimental and will be avoided.”
Tree canopy provides many benefits to communities, improving water quality, reducing storm water runoff, saving energy, lowering city temperatures, reducing air pollution, carbon sequestration and increasing property values.
Using formularies developed by the U.S. Forest Service related to carbon storage and sequestration, Lakewood’s existing 28.5 percent urban forest canopy cover stores 4,315 tons of carbon and sequesters nearly 45 tons of carbon each year.