Tempe to get briefed on trees, shade

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

The Tempe City Council will get an update tomorrow on efforts to plant more trees citywide and increase the city’s tree and shade canopy.

Tempe approved an Urban Forestry Master Plan in 2017 with the goal of a 25 percent tree and shade canopy by 2040.

There are currently 26,500 trees on city owned land and properties. Trees help reduce stormwater runoff and with air quality in addition to the shade that helps with the heat.

City officials estimate Tempe’s tree and shade canopy currently stands at 13.6 percent. The city also lost approximately 325 trees in 2020 because of storms and the extreme summer heat.

The council will be briefed on current plans to increase the tree canopy and other challenges to those efforts include deferred and reduced maintenance of trees on city properties.

City staff will also talk to the council about how to better engage developers, local businesses and residents in the efforts to bring more trees to the city. That includes grant opportunities and how to potential changes or additions to city codes.

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September 2020