City Trees

September/October 2015

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

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20 City Trees In a perfect world, successful tree protection on a construction site would follow these steps: 1. Perform a tree inventory and assessment 2. Assess the impact of construction activi- ty (Critical Root Zones and Structural CRZ encroachments) and specify measures for tree protection and stress reduction measures 3. Modify design elements and construction plans and procedures as needed 4. Implement the plan 5. Monitor and communicate 6. Remediate as needed 7. Continue to monitor In the real world, municipal arborists usually aren't involved until Step 6, and they count themselves lucky if they are even asked to review project plans. In Cincinnati, Ohio lightning struck the same spot twice, a blue moon appeared, and Hades did indeed froze over for a tree preservation effort during an extensive city park renovation project. It was the historic Washington Park redevelopment project, and all seven steps were followed to the letter. As the consulting arborist on the project, I experienced first-hand that when these seven best management practices for tree protection are followed, trees can survive and thrive after major construction. Using the Washington Park redevelopment project as a case study, I will discuss each tree protection BMP, with the hope that more municipal arborists will find this elusive arboricultural nirvana where trees and the built environ- ment are balanced in perfect harmony. The Saga of Washington Park A 6-acre (2.4 ha) gem in the crown of the Queen City is the Cincinnati Park Board's Washington Park. It is located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and has a fascinating history. From 1810 until 1855, much of the present-day park site was used as a cemetery. Sparked by the belief of mid-1800s public health officials that vapors from burials caused urban health problems, re-interment of most of the burials was initiated and the transition from cemetery to park land began. The park was developed with features that included a bandstand, meandering walkways, benches, fountains, a pond, a wading pool, and a swimming pool. Short limestone walls with ornate ironwork were built around the perimeter of the park to protect park patrons from the thousands of pigs that were herded weekly down Tree Preservation – The Wild and Wonderful Washington Story and photos (except where indicated) by Jennifer Gulick, Senior Consulting Urban Forester, Davey Resource Group, Aerial view of present-day Washington Park • Photo in Public Domain

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