In Phoenix, AZ, under the direction of the city’s forestry supervisor, 1-foot-by-2-foot orange plastic tags are appearing on public trees around the city.
The tags are part of Phoenix’s campaign to help people understand that trees are more than decorative shade. Currently, Phoenix’s tree canopy coverage is 9 to 12 percent of the city’s 520 square miles. Phoenix is committed to increasing that coverage to 25 percent by 2030. It’s an important goal supported by two recent studies.
Some trees work harder than others. California fan palm is among the top three most common species growing in Phoenix. Phoenix began planting the palms decades ago mainly to impress tourists. California fan palms are flashy, but don’t give much back to the community. The palms remove less pollution and provide less shade than other trees in Phoenix. They are costly to maintain and harbor pigeons, rats, scorpions and other unwanted creatures.
Here are some trees the Desert Canopy Project found to provide benefits and perform well in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
- Lacebark Elm
- Texas Honey Mesquite
- Arizona Ash
- Desert Ironwood
- Palo Verde
- Desert Willow
- Chinese Pistache
- Aleppo Pine
- Live Oak
(2015) Putting A Price Tag On Our Urban Forest,a blogpost by Kathleen Ferris, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association. https://amwua.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/putting-a-price-tag-on-our-urban-forest/
(2015) The Price of a Tree, ForesterDailyNetwork. http://foresternetwork.com/daily/water/stormwater/the-price-of-a-tree/?mqsc=E3811271&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=Forester%20Full+StormWater%20Weekly+StormWater%20Weekly&utm_campaign=Wkly-SW-09232015