Tree planting plan identifies potential
Twisp has an opportunity to expand its “urban forest,” creating a variety of benefits for the town, according to comprehensive tree planting plan presented at last week’s Town Council meeting.
Jim Flott of Spokane-based Community Forest Consultants reviewed a plan that was developed in partnership with the town’s Tree Board and the support of a state Department of Natural Resources grant.
Flott said the plan is based on a study of potential planting sites in the town. Initially, the plan cites 126 possible planting locations on Lincoln Street, Twisp Avenue, Canyon Street, Burton Street and Second Avenue. There are other locations that could support plantings, Flott said, but for now the Tree Board focused on those five streets. All of the possible planting sites are in the public right of way.
Maintenance would be a vital component of any planting program, Flott said, especially in the trees’ early years.
Flott said studies show that trees have documented positive effects in urban environments. “Trees have value,” he said. “Think of trees as infrastructure.”
Flott said an urban forest can add environmental, recreational, esthetic and economic benefits to a community including increased property values.
Arbor Day celebrated in TwispThe Town of Twisp Tree Board will host an Arbor Day celebration on Saturday, April 15, at noon in the Twisp Commons Park adjacent to the Methow Valley Community Center.
The event will include an update on the board’s tree nursery project at Methow Valley Elementary School; an update on projects and grants; reading of an Arbor Day declaration; a giveaway of seedlings for participants to take home and plant; and “tree trivia” with prizes including a variety of tree plantings for the correct answers. There will also be a demonstration of a tree planting a few blocks from the park.
Volunteers are encouraged to help with the event and are asked to come to the park at around 10:30 a.m. For information, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why not Glover?
Planting more trees on Glover Street would be difficult, Flott said, because it is a “hardscape” that makes it difficult for new trees to take root.
In fact, Flott said, two substantial silver maple trees on Glover Street will need to be removed because they are “failing,” with hollow cores and compromised root systems. Earlier this summer, a giant silver maple toppled at the corner of Glover Street and Fifth Avenue after a brutal winter storm.
Dwight Filer, representing the tree board, said the board will seek a grant to replace those trees, but would coordinate any replacement efforts with the Public Works Department. He said the board hopes to have the trees replaced later this year.
Filer said the Tree Board would probably be able to handle four or five plantings a year to ensure that they and the town can handle maintenance needs.
In answer to a council question, Flott said trees would not be planted where residents raise objections, even though the town controls the right of way. “We never plant trees to create conflict,” he said.
As part of the planting plan, Flott recommended that the town have an annual budget for tree planting and maintenance, inspect trees regularly, plant a diversity of species, and educate the public on the value and care of trees. He said the town needs to increase the diversity of its tree stock so the entire urban forest could not be wiped out by a single infestation or disease.