New, ‘innovative’ project aims to add 1,000 trees in midtown Columbus

Trees Columbus announced Wednesday morning a tree canopy restoration project they hope will improve the health of Columbus’ urban forest.

The goal of the “Planting Shade” project is to add more than 1,000 trees in the Weracoba, St. Elmo and Peacock Woods areas over the next three years, according to Dorothy McDaniel, executive director of Trees Columbus.

“It is an initiative that has been a long time coming for Columbus,” said McDaniel. “It is a totally new and innovative way to look at urban forestry management to create a healthier and safer tree canopy for Columbus and to help us plant the next generation of trees.”

A partnership with Columbus Consolidated Government will let Trees Columbus evaluate tree canopy on public right-of-ways, and future partnerships with private citizens to establish tree maintenance and planting priorities.

McDaniel said Columbus has been losing its urban forest canopy because of age, disease, development and storms like the one Tuesday afternoon that felled area trees. the “Planting Shade” initiative will use new system invented to help with issues like these.

“We have invented a system that will allow us to look at a tree, get basic information, identify maintenance needs, does it need to be pruned, does that tree maybe need to be removed,“ McDaniel said. “In addition that system can quickly identify a potential planting space.”

People living in the Weracoba, St. Elmo or Peacock Woods areas who are interested in volunteering or receiving a tree to plant on their property can find out more at www.treescolumbus.org/canopyproject.