The City has received several inquiries over the past few weeks about the state of some street trees that appear to have died over the Winter. City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said he asked Assistant Director of Public Works for Forestry/Parks Paul D’Agostino for an explanation.
In response, Mr. D’Agostino replied, “There are several reasons that many of the newly planted trees do not look healthy. First, there are two species that we have increased the quantities being planted over the past several years, both of which naturally leaf out much later than most other species. Both Kentucky Coffeetree and the new hybrid London Planetrees do not begin new growth until several weeks after most other trees, so they may be mistakenly diagnosed as unhealthy or even dead when compared to other nearby trees early in the season, which is not the case.
“Second, the City introduced a new species of Oak in 2011 and 2012 – a native species called chinkapin. Unfortunately, these new trees have not been as successful as we had hoped, and we have since stopped planting them.
“Last, the combination of the 2012 drought and the extreme winter of 2013-14 has placed many of the younger trees under stress, which then makes them more susceptible to other problems. Forestry staff is doing everything we can to help the new trees survive, and we believe our survival rate for all newly planted trees will be well above 90% going forward.”