Pollution has increased dramatically over the past decades. This is all due to our need to modernize our surroundings and way of life. Since most of our focus is on how we can make our daily routines more convenient, we neglect the many essentials in life that nature gives. This neglect leads us to destroy nature itself. One of the best ways to battle this ignorance and save some semblance of nature is to plant trees in our neighborhood to provide balance in a growing urban community. A tree planted on a street can absorb pollution to produce the much needed air we all need to breathe. A street tree is another way to beautify our community and provide shade from the increasing heat that the sun brings in. There are many trees that can provide these amenities if planted by a street.
- Qualities of a good street tree. The best street trees are trees that maintain a balance of qualities. A street tree must be able to provide an ample amount of shade once it reaches a certain maturity. It should be able to weather pollution. A good tree should give beauty in the community. It should be strong enough to stand against various extreme weather conditions while being able to give shelter to the common birds in the area. Lastly, a good street tree should be very low maintenance. To save on expenses, an ideal tree should be able to survive with minimal pruning and manual tending.
- Guidelines for street tree planting. There should be a list of pre-approved street trees in the municipal office in your city. Base your selection on this list. Along with this, you will need to get a planting permit from city hall especially if you plan to plant along the right-of-way of your property. Upon application of this permit, an urban forester inspector will visit the proposed site to check the viability of the site for street planting. One of the major factors that could affect the selection of street trees is the power lines in your area. Street trees should not be a hindrance or threat to the power lines in the community. Check with your local municipal office for the guidelines for street tree planting.
- Growth rates and habits. Since the street in your area will have a limited area for you to plant and grow your tree, you will need to select a tree that can have a restricted root system but can bloom like most trees. It is important to study various trees and their growth habits to determine the right tree for your area. You do not really want your tree to destroy the sidewalk or street at certain level of maturity because its roots were not restricted. The best trees for restricted root systems are trees that have a single trunk system.
- Maintenance of street trees. All street trees will require some level of pruning. You will want a tree with minimal pruning maintenance. Choose a tree that grows straight up to around 6 feet before it develops a canopy.
Choosing a street tree for your community is easy. Your local municipal office will have resources and guidelines to assist you in the selection and implementation of the project.