Pennsylvania has just over 2,600 cities and municipalities. Of these, there are only 111 which have earned the Tree City USA designation. Of these there are only 47 that have had this honor for more years than our Borough of Beaver. For 21 years we have been awarded the Tree City USA designation, from the National Arbor Day Foundation, through work and effort.
The following information (from the National Arbor Day website) helps us to understand the value and impact of the application of this program.
The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.
More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA member. They have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.
- Reduce costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control. Trees yield 3–5 times their cost in overall benefits to the city.
- Cut energy consumption by up to 25%. Studies indicate that as few as three additional trees planted around each building in the United States could save $2 billion annually in energy costs.
- Boost property values across your community. Properly placed trees can increase property values from 7–20%. Buildings in wooded areas rent more quickly, and tenants stay longer.
- Build stronger ties to your neighborhood and community. Trees and green spaces directly correlate to greater connections to neighbors.
- Honor your community and demonstrate your commitment to a healthier environment through Arbor Day celebrations and Tree City USA recognition.
- Benefit from a framework for action provided by the four core standards. Many communities use the Tree City USA standards as a way to begin caring for city trees. Others regularly enhance urban forest management through improved ordinances, innovative programs and increased emphasis on planting and care.
- Educate people living in your city about the value of trees and the importance of sustainable tree management. Annual participation as a Tree City USA community provides this opportunity and makes it easier to engage individuals and organizations throughout the city. Tree City USA status can also create a strong working relationship with your state forestry agency and other groups.
- Gain publicity with recognition materials. Tree boards, parks departments, public works officials and volunteers are recognized for the valuable work they provide to the community. Many communities share their Tree City USA recognition across city departments as well as with elected officials, students and business leaders.
- Improve community pride. Participation in the Tree City USA program helps residents feel good about the place they live and work. Annual recognition shows visitors and prospective residents that trees, conservation, and the environment are important to your community.
Here are some tips for the coming change of weather.
During the winter season when snowfall accumulations are heavy and deep, it is helpful to gently brush off excess snow on young trees and shrubs to maintain structural integrity. Winter and early spring are good opportunities to examine trunk and branch quality in larger trees, while the canopy is not full of leaves. Things to look for are: broken hanging branches, crossing/touching branches, trunk damage, insect borer damage, woodpecker damage, and branches without new bud development.
If you have questions about trees or tree health, contact the Beaver Tree Commission through the Borough office. We look forward to assisting you!
As we move ahead in managing our Community Forest, we are seeking additional members on the Beaver Tree Commission. Tree expertise is not required. Please contact us if you or someone you know has a “growing” interest in trees and is looking for an opportunity to share in the beautification of our town.
Tim Stancec, ISA Certified Arborist
Beaver Tree Commission