Alliance for Community Trees News

Three-Year Tree Planting Effort Takes Root In Detroit

By Conni Kunzler | November 20, 2017

Source: Nicquel Terry, “Detroit’s 10,000-tree planting effort takes root,” The Detroit News; Violet Ikonomova, “Detroit will plant 10,000 new saplings to replace trees wiped out by disease,” The Metro News

Detroit, MI (November 13, 2017) – The first phase of roughly 900 trees planted this fall is part of the Detroit’s “10,000 Up” program, an initiative that aims to plant 10,000 new trees across the city in the next three years. It all comes after more than a half-century in which disease and invasive species robbed Detroit of much of its tree population.

Over the next three years, crews will plant 10,000 saplings in neighborhoods that express an interest. All residents have to do is water the trees, which will go up in the publicly owned area between the curb and sidewalk.

City officials say they have knocked down more than 10,000 trees lost to disease, infestation and old age in recent years. They plan to continue those efforts.

The “10,000 Up” program is part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s 10-point plan for revitalizing neighborhoods in Detroit. The city is allocating $9 million for the initiative.

Erica Hill, the city’s forestry manager, said officials have included residents in the program by seeking their input on where to plant the trees.

“The trees add home property values … they increase your values by about 30 percent,” Hill said. “It also decreases the pollution in the air. … It shades our houses and keeps our utility bills down.”

Hill said the above-average temperatures in early fall allowed the city to plant trees without the threat of the ground freezing.

The city will plant a variety of trees in order to avoid the risks associated with monoculture. The trees going up will vary based on availability, but so far the city has planted ginkgos, lindens, maples, and oaks. They’re all expected to have a lifespan of 40-100 years.

Eddie Holmes, who has lived in his home for 29 years, said the program marks the first major tree planting since he moved to the area. “I think it will be a great asset,” Holmes said.

Holmes’ son agreed. “I think the city’s program is exactly what we need, it’s the birth of a new generation of fresh air,” said Esmond Holmes, 27. “It gives the homeowner something to look forward to.”

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