How It Works
There are many different variables to consider whenever a tree is planted, but this is particularly true with plantings in an urban street setting where factors such as limited soil, storm water runoff, and the presence of utility lines play key roles. Managers of the City of Charlotte Street Trees Program conduct a careful analysis when selecting the best trees and the best places for planting. Many of these plantings are in areas where other trees have died and been removed, but often they work in areas where trees have never been planted.
This program plants and maintains both native species and non-native proven performers, with an emphasis on large maturing shade trees. City arborists match the right tree with the right place using criteria related to planting strip width, distance from conflicts such as overhead wires and obstructions, and the needs of each tree, such as shade or full sun.
Putting A Plan Into Action
Many factors determine tree-planting locations, including the previous year’s tree removals, citizen requests, and locations of capital projects. Once potential planting locations are identified, on-site analyses determine the most ideal locations that are best suited for planting trees. This data is gathered each year by June 30th so it can be included in bids with private landscape contractors in the fall. City arborists oversee the tree planting process, which is typically conducted between November and April. Most of the trees are 3-inch caliper shade trees, though 2-inch caliper small maturing trees may be designated for areas where overhead power lines conflict.
Ensuring the Continued Viability of our Trees
The Landscaping Division responds to more than 1,600 requests for service annually. This work includes pruning limbs, removing dead and dying trees, clearing obstructions for streetlights and traffic signals, and correcting sight distance problems.
Charlotte’s Street Tree Program:
- Utilizes in-house employees and contractors
- Maintains 180,000 street trees along 2,500 miles of streets
- Contracts 60% of our work to private industry