Note: This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 Newsletter.

Hurricane Micahel along with friends Hermine and Irma have toppled many fine trees in Betton Hills.  I have recently noticed some of the big pines that withstood these hurricanes are only now dying.  They may have had internal damage that is not visible; it can take up to two years after a windstorm for a tree to die.  In addition, neighbors have been removing healthy trees from their yards to protect themselves from future storms.

As a result, our neighborhood is becoming less "leafy" and hotter.  If you arew a walker, runner, or bicyle rider, you feel that heat when you walk along stretch of road that has no shade.

The city of Tallahassee has a FREE program that some neighbors have taken advantage of in past years.  It is called Adopt-A-Tree.  City residents may request up to two trees to be planted in the front yard within 100 feet of the centerline of the roadway.  The resident needs to be within the City limits and must agree to keep each tree watered for one year.

City personnel will visit each site prior to planting and will assist with tree selection and proper location.  This is a FREE program.  The city provides the tree along with FREE planting.  For those who are wary of large growing trees, there is usually a shorter tree, such as Grancy Greybeard (Fringe Tree) available.  Even a small tree will eventually shade and cool the roadside.  It will provide a refuge for birds and other wildlife, capture carbon, improve air quality, muffle road noise and beautify the neighborhood (and your yard!).

Let's cool down our roadsides by planting trees in our front yards!  If you're interested, visit the City of Tallahassee Adopt-A-Tree website.