April 26, 2020

One-thousand new trees for Salt Lake City’s West Side

On April 24, Arbor Day, SLC Mayor Mendenhall kicked off her 1,000-tree initiative on SLC’s West Side by planting a tree with her husband, former City Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa at Rosewood Park, 1400 North 1200 West. On April 24, Arbor Day, SLC Mayor Mendenhall kicked off her 1,000-tree initiative on SLC’s West Side by planting a tree with her husband, former City Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa at Rosewood Park, 1400 North 1200 West.
On April 24, Arbor Day, SLC Mayor Mendenhall kicked off her 1,000-tree initiative on SLC’s West Side by planting a tree with her husband, former City Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa at Rosewood Park, 1400 North 1200 West.|On April 24, Arbor Day, SLC Mayor Mendenhall kicked off her 1,000-tree initiative on SLC’s West Side by planting a tree with her husband, former City Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa at Rosewood Park, 1400 North 1200 West.|||| On April 24, Arbor Day, SLC Mayor Mendenhall kicked off her 1,000-tree initiative on SLC’s West Side by planting a tree with her husband, former City Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa at Rosewood Park, 1400 North 1200 West.|On April 24, Arbor Day, SLC Mayor Mendenhall kicked off her 1,000-tree initiative on SLC’s West Side by planting a tree with her husband, former City Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa at Rosewood Park, 1400 North 1200 West.|||| |||||
By Sheena Wolfe

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is making good on a campaign promise to plant 1,000 new trees on Salt Lake City’s West Side during each year of her tenure. A partnership with nonprofit TreeUtah and the city’s Division of Urban Forestry, has already put 700 new trees in the ground this year on the West Side.

“If you look at a satellite map of our city, the reason for wanting more trees in our city’s west-side neighborhoods is obvious. There is an inequitable distribution of forest in our city and for as long as that map looks this way,” said Mendenhall, “west-side neighborhoods won’t get the same benefits of urban forestry as the rest of the city.”

“The 1,000-tree initiative will increase canopy coverage, give shade, help make our schools and parks more beautiful, improve the air, lower ground temperatures and provide a natural habitat for urban wildlife,” said TreeUtah Executive Director Amy May.

“TreeUtah seeks to educate people about the environment and the many benefits that trees provide,” said May.

For example, the average tree can clean up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, and when planted on the south and west faces of your house, shade trees can reduce winter heating bills by up to 15 percent and summer cooling bills by up to 50 percent.

Most of the 1,000 trees available for the West Side this year will be planted in parks and underutilized natural spaces, and will include a mix of species with an emphasis on large-growth trees, such as London planetree, Burr oak, Turkish filbert, and Tulip poplar. Depending on the species, these large trees could last for over 100 years and reach a height of more than 60 feet.

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, TreeUtah is adjusting its programming; instead of doing large public tree plantings, they are testing ways to invite families to plant trees in parks, one household at a time. One of the parks they plan to focus on is Poplar Grove Park, where many old Cottonwood trees either died or had to be removed because of the spread of a bacterial wetwood infection, said May.

For news and updates on tree plantings, and to view videos about how to plant a tree in your yard, visit TreeUtah’s website.

The Salt Lake City Division of Urban Forestry is in charge of all tree plantings and tree maintenance within the city limits. This includes all trees growing in park strips between the sidewalk and road, as well as trees in parks and public green areas.

Urban Forestry provides the following services pertaining to trees in these public areas: tree planting, pruning and removal, stump grinding, storm cleanup, hazard assessment, health evaluation, and permit issuance for private work on city trees. To learn more about urban forestry, its services and the types of trees being planted go to slc.gov/parks/urban-forestry.

To request a new tree or service on an existing tree in your park strip, call Urban Forestry at (801) 972-7818. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those requesting services for their park strips are asked to first check the website to see specific details on types and extent of services. Those calling to make a tree request will be put on a tree planting list after an evaluation is performed.

On April 24, Arbor Day, SLC Mayor Mendenhall kicked off her 1,000-tree initiative on SLC’s West Side by planting a tree with her husband, former City Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa at Rosewood Park, 1400 North 1200 West. Mendenhall also announced a new partnership with Ivory Homes called Spring of Hope to get trees planted in residents’ yards on the West Side. Visit Ivory Green for details and to apply for a tree. 

Photos courtesy of SLC Mayor’s Office