Chapter 152 of the Lakewood Codified Ordinances established the Tree Advisory and Education Board. This board is charged with collaborating with City officials regarding its urban tree policies and practices, promoting the City’s tree programs and educating residents regarding responsible tree stewardship and the benefits of tree planting on private property.
The Tree Advisory and Education Board shall be composed of five volunteer members, three of whom shall be appointed by Council and two of whom shall be appointed by the Mayor. Special consideration will be given to applicants with background and expertise in forestry. Additionally, the Director of Public Works or his or her designee shall serve as an ex officio non-voting member. Council may appoint a non-voting ex officio member if it chooses.
Members of the Tree Advisory and Education Board shall serve a term of three years and receive no compensation for service. Initial appointment shall be staggered so that two members’ terms expire every three years.
The Tree Advisory and Education Board shall be empowered to adopt its own bylaws and rules for operation consistent with this chapter including whether or not to elect a Chairperson or other officers.
The Tree Advisory and Education Board shall meet at least on a quarterly basis. All meetings of the Tree Advisory and Education Board shall be open to the public and a record of its business maintained by its members. The Tree Advisory and Education Board is responsible for compliance with Chapter 109 of the Lakewood Codified Ordinances. The Board is required to arrange an annual meeting with City Council’s Public Works Committee to discuss its work.
Tree Advisory and Education Board Blog Posts
Why Your Tree Lawn Needs A Tree+-
With Arbor Day and Earth Day just around the corner, please consider allowing the City to plant a free tree in your tree lawn or front lawn. If you do not currently have a tree lawn tree and it is a suitable location for planting without overhead obstructions or an existing mature tree nearby, the City will plant one at no cost to you. If you live on one of the twenty-three streets with tree lawns too narrow for planting, the City will plant one in your front lawn at no cost to you. This list includes the following streets: Adeline, Athens, Blossom Park, Cannon, Elmwood (Detroit to Hilliard), Ferndale, Hall, Hilda, Idlewood, Lakewood (Detroit north to railroad tracks), Lanning, Leonard, Northwood, Olive, Olivewood, Park Row, Phelps, Riverside, Roycroft, Rockway, Spring Garden, Thoreau, and Westlake. Click here for more information about this program.
If you already have a tree lawn tree but would like an additional tree planted in your yard, the City’s contracted installer will plant one for you at the same cost the City pays. Residents can purchase a shade tree and have it professionally installed in their desired location. For more information or to sign up for this program, click here.
Why should you plant a tree? Trees provide countless benefits to our community and well-being. Aesthetically, they provide shade and beauty, privacy and a sense of calm and serenity. Lakewood is well-known for its beautiful tree-lined streets and we must continue to plant trees to replace those planted decades ago as they succumb to old-age or disease and insect pressures such as emerald ash borer.
The environmental benefits of trees are countless. They remove and store carbon from the atmosphere along with pollutants and particulate matter. They intercept rainfall and slow runoff and precipitation, taking pressure off our aging stormwater infrastructure. They help control erosion by stabilizing soil with their root systems. When planted where they can provide shade to buildings and paved surfaces, they help mitigate the urban heat island effect which can increase the temperature in cities by several degrees over surrounding areas.
Then there are the economic benefits of trees. Utility consumption is decreased when the shade they provide cools our homes and lessens our dependency on air conditioning. By slowing precipitation and runoff and decreasing the demands on our stormwater system, trees help mitigate the costs of maintenance and repair of these systems. A healthy urban forest also helps sustain a vibrant and attractive community. Beautiful tree-lined streets increase property values, stimulate local business and attract visitors and guests. Planting trees is critical for Lakewood to continue to be the healthy, vibrant, and livable community that it is today.
Trees benefit our health and mental wellness too. Being surrounded by trees is critical to our psychological well-being. They make us healthier, happier, and more creative. They remove pollutants from the atmosphere and improve air quality. Their shade cools our homes and neighborhoods and help keep us comfortable.
But most importantly, planting a tree is good for your soul. It is an unselfish act and a good deed that benefits not only you, but your neighbors and everyone around you – not just for today but for the future generations who will reap the benefits that tree will provide for many years to come.
So please consider allowing the City of Lakewood to plant a free tree for you this Spring. If you are interested, please contact the City of Lakewood Division of Streets and Forestry to request that a shade tree be planted by calling (216)529-6810, or consider a tax deductible donation to the City’s Gift-a-Tree initiative.
Help Grow the City's Tree Canopy: Plant A Tree+-
Have you been thinking about planting a tree in your yard? Here is an opportunity to purchase a shade tree at a reduced price for your private yard!
The City of Lakewood would like to help citizens purchase and have planted shade trees for their private yards to help us increase our urban tree canopy.
The City of Lakewood will be placing an order for shade trees for the upcoming spring and fall planting seasons. Residents can purchase a shade tree AND have it professionally planted in their desired yard location at the same pricing that the city pays (plus applicable tax). The 2023 price for all trees (including installation) is $385/tree.
Help us grow Lakewood’s Urban Tree Canopy! Residents can contract directly with our 2023 tree planting contractor, The Greenleaf Group Inc., for the purchase and planting of a shade tree on their private property.
The Greenleaf Group Inc. is happy to help you select a tree species that would be best for your area and the time of year of the planting. To select a tree and place an order, contact The Greenleaf Group Inc. at (330) 441-6326 or by email at email@example.com . Mention that you are part of the 2023 City of Lakewood Shade Tree Purchase Program.
Click here for more information.
Let’s keep our trees healthy+-
Many of us have mature trees on our property or have recently planted a young tree. Trees add so much to the health and well being of our communities by reducing air pollution and stormwater runoff, cooling our homes and yards, promoting wellbeing and healthy activities and adding economic value to our property. But trees need to be cared for and maintained. Watering of young trees when newly planted and all trees during a drought is important. Regular pruning to remove damaged branches or contact with our homes is needed. It is also important to keep an eye out for pests or diseases that could shorten the life of your tree. Some maybe primarily cosmetic, like maple tar spot, but others like spotted lanternfly, can seriously damage most trees. What to do if you spot something of concern?
Here are links to materials that may help you do some preliminary research.
If you have a concern though, the best recommendation that we have for you is to call in a certified arborist to examine your tree and provide you with a treatment plan. Remember, trees generally have long lifespans that contribute benefits for many years. It is worth investing in their maintenance.
2022 Tree Plantings+-
Now is the time to envision adding a beautiful new tree to your landscape. Lakewood’s Tree Plan will add 400 new trees to the city in 2022. There were 150 trees planted in spring, and 250 more will be planted this fall. These will be planted on available tree lawns and on certain streets with narrow tree lawns, under the Private Property Planting Program, the city will plant a tree in the front lawn at no cost if a homeowner requests one. There are a wide selection of trees available to select from and if a homeowner would prefer a tree in the back yard or in the front yard but lives on a street that is not eligible for the Private Property Planting Program, the city also makes trees and planting services available at the same cost that the city pays.
Trees are wonderful addition to your home, increasing property value, providing air quality and storm water benefits and other environmental and health benefits. Call the Forestry Department at 216-529-6810 to add a beautiful tree to your home.
The Unfortunate Necessity of Large Tree Removals+-
This is the emotional plea expressed by many among us after we spot a dreaded white dot at the base of a large tree in our neighborhood. The white dot tells us that the beloved tree is sentenced to removal. Or even worse, when seemingly without notice, we arrive home to see one of our favorite old neighborhood trees being surgically removed by an arborist crew. We get angry, we get sad, we are furious, we want answers!
Trees evoke an emotional response. This is part of the power they hold over us. We are possessive of them. We are protective of them. When one is removed without our knowledge or understanding why, we feel betrayed. It is completely normal to feel this way, and in fact it is important that we do so. Citizens must advocate for the care and maintenance of trees, and the hallmark of an outstanding community is one that nurtures a strong and vibrant urban forest.
Part of the mission of the Lakewood Tree Advisory and Education Board is to educate residents regarding responsible tree stewardship. Understanding the unfortunate reality of why trees must be removed is a component of this. Despite the emotional attachment we have to trees, they must also be viewed from the perspective of urban infrastructure. Trees provide value not just in their beauty and ecological benefits, but also in the services they provide. Trees aid with heating and cooling and serve as windbreaks. They intercept rainfall, sequester carbon, and filter particulate matter from the atmosphere. They add value to homes and increase the attractiveness of business and commercial districts.
However, like all components of urban infrastructure, trees have a finite lifespan. Similar to a telephone pole, or asphalt road surface, objects subjected to the harsh elements of the urban environment endure constant wear and tear and eventually come to the end of their functional lifespan.
The dedicated team of Arborists that make up the Lakewood Forestry Department care dearly about trees. Their primary objective each and every day is to improve and protect our urban forest. When the decision is made to remove a tree, it is not taken lightly. In addition to protecting our trees, they are also charged with keeping us safe and protecting people and property. To do so, they must be proactive and, whenever possible, remove trees before they fail. This is why it can be so frustrating when we see a tree that was removed and think to ourselves it looked perfectly healthy. Our trained and dedicated team of arborists makes the difficult determination to remove a tree after identifying it to be at risk of failure due to wood decay fungi, root decay fungi, noticeable external decay, signs of internal decay, onset of vertical truck fracture, or poor limb attachment. Many of these conditions can be difficult to see, but can often compromise the structural integrity of what looks like an otherwise healthy tree.
It pains Lakewood’s team of Arborists as much as anybody when one of our majestic old trees reaches a point where it meets the criteria warranting removal. However, what we must all understand is that no tree lives forever, and trees in the urban environment especially live in difficult conditions that can shorten their lifespan and lead to the eventuality that one day they must be removed in the name of public safety.
Just remember, it’s okay to be mad and sad when you see a tree being removed. What would be worse is if no one cared at all when a tree was cut down. Just know that we are in good hands and that we are fortunate to have an outstanding team of arborists serving us to make these decisions in the best interests of our urban forests and the residents of Lakewood!