8. Know who manages your trees

Our city and county governments are responsible for the planting and stewardship of hundreds and often thousands of trees. These public trees are maintained with our tax dollars. Recreation and park districts are responsible for well-canopied parks, and school districts ensure the shading of our children. Too often these agencies are understaffed, under funded and looking for help.

Areas of Interest: Networking, Thinking, Investigating
Ingredients: Telephone, pen and paper, phone directory
Begin by choosing a community organization caring for your trees. Your options include city or county government, a local urban forestry group, a local school or school district, or a recreation and park district. The first challenge is learning which trees are “owned” by the organization. In the case of cities or counties, these trees will commonly include commercial and residential street trees, median trees, public park trees, and trees living at other city or county facilities.
Call the organization’s central office and obtain the name and title of the person responsible for the trees. Contact that individual in person or by phone and thank them for maintaining the urban forest. Learn more about the organization by asking:
* How many trees are under their care?
* How many staff care for those trees?
* What are their funding sources? Are they sufficiently funded? If not, what tree-related areas are in greatest need of funding?
* What role does the community play in their work?
* How could the community be of greater support?