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Largo's growing tree canopy has benefits

LARGO — By last count in 2005, there were 17,411 trees on city property, with a value of $15 million.

And, according to city parks superintendent Greg Brown, there could be many more that have yet to be counted.

The current number of trees in the city, which range from thousands of queen palms and oak trees to single examples of exotic evergreens like the monkey puzzle tree, has been boosted in recent years by city efforts — the Mayor's Street Tree Planting Program and Communitrees.

While the tree proliferation has cost the city $85,000 per year since the city's Urban Forest Master Plan was introduced in 2005, the benefits outweigh the costs, Brown said.

Perks include better wastewater absorption after storms, cleaner air and more shade along pedestrian walking or cycling routes.

At Tuesday's city work session, commissioners received a report on the city's trees from Brown and gave a nod for the master plan to continue.

"I think we get more feedback on planting trees than any other singular thing that we do," said Mayor Patricia Gerard.

Brown said Largo had experienced a 70 percent loss of tree canopy since heavy development began in the county decades ago.

LARGO — By last count in 2005, there were 17,411 trees on city property, with a value of $15 million.

And, according to city parks superintendent Greg Brown, there could be many more that have yet to be counted.

The current number of trees in the city, which range from thousands of queen palms and oak trees to single examples of exotic evergreens like the monkey puzzle tree, has been boosted in recent years by city efforts — the Mayor's Street Tree Planting Program and Communitrees.

While the tree proliferation has cost the city $85,000 per year since the city's Urban Forest Master Plan was introduced in 2005, the benefits outweigh the costs, Brown said.

Perks include better wastewater absorption after storms, cleaner air and more shade along pedestrian walking or cycling routes.

At Tuesday's city work session, commissioners received a report on the city's trees from Brown and gave a nod for the master plan to continue.

"I think we get more feedback on planting trees than any other singular thing that we do," said Mayor Patricia Gerard.

Brown said Largo had experienced a 70 percent loss of tree canopy since heavy development began in the county decades ago.

Largo's growing tree canopy has benefits 09/18/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:25pm]
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