Saturday, June 13, 2009

Snapshot: Urban Forest

I thought I’d start with a snapshot of New York City's urban forest. According to the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR), there are currently 5.2 million trees in the city. Through the 2006 tree census performed by DPR staff and over 1,000 volunteers, at least 168 different tree species were identified in NYC. The most predominant type of tree planted along the city’s streets is the London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia), easily recognizable by its peeling bark.

5.2 million trees is a lot of green, but there is room in our city to expand the urban canopy. Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative has set the goal of planting one million trees across the city over the next ten years. I had the pleasure of personally planting about 30 trees, mostly Pin Oaks (
Quercus palustris), in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx last fall. If you are interested in getting involved, you can go to the milliontreesNYC website. Here, you can volunteer to plant, as I did, donate money, or simply give DPR’s Forestry division a heads-up about streets in need of trees.

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