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City eyes tree-scape

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:01 PM

“Last year, one of the City Council’s goals was to plant 1,000 trees for five years,” said Dan Vivian, the city's facilities manager.

The city is nearly halfway there.

“We’ve got 400 in the ground already,” Vivian said. “We’ll do 200 (a year) over the next three years.”

Vivian noted that the tree plantings would offer the city a more diverse urban forest.

“We’re basically planting different species that are good for the street and good for the environment that we’ve got here,” he said.

The tree plantings began in the northeast portion of the city and will work south. City crews typically conduct plantings in the spring and fall, but that might change.

“This year, we are only going to do a fall planting,” Vivian said. “We can’t take any chances with the summer that we had last year.”

Trees planted in the spring are more susceptible to damage from a dry summer, like we had in 2012. Vivian said fall is the better time to plant trees.

The city's Department of Public Works says the predominant tree type in city-owned rights of way is maple. Having one type of tree dominate the whole city could be problematic, Vivian said.

“If we ever had a tree disease that came in and affected maple trees, we would really take a hit to our canopy,” he explained. “You want to diversify. … You don’t want to have any one kind of plant or tree.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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