Tree City USA

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2007

Last revision: Dec. 3, 2010

hickories and other species growing in the rich riverside soils provide a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors.

Wanting to preserve the area’s natural beauty, city officials, working with members of the local garden club, engaged a certified arborist to assess the condition and health of trees on city property. A Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant from the Conservation Department paid for most of the inventory costs.

The inventory determined that the majority of the city’s trees were in good growing condition, though many were old and in need of maintenance. About 10 percent of the trees were deemed hazardous or unsightly and in need of removal.

The inventory became a blueprint from which to plan annual tree maintenance. Participants in the planning agreed that the main goals of the city’s tree program should be minimizing the city’s liability and improving the public tree resources.

Hermann city employees perform most of the tree maintenance. Conservation Department resource foresters conducted several tree care workshops to help the employees learn tree pruning and planting skills.

Hermann City Administrator Steve Mueller said the city’s determination and efforts to improve public trees has increased awareness among the population of the value of trees and the necessity for proper management of trees, even on private land. He gave as an example how proper pruning techniques on city property are now challenging the long-established landowner tradition of “topping” trees.

The commitment and concern that led Hermann to seek Tree City USA certification has united residents and increased civic pride. The improvements to Hermann’s urban forests are already noticeable and will inevitably lead to healthy trees for generations to come.

Becoming a Tree City USA

There are four basic requirements to gaining Tree City USA status:

  1. A Tree Board or Department
  2. A Tree Care Ordinance
  3. A Community Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita
  4. An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation

The requirements aren’t difficult and are within the reach of any community—large or small. The effort often attracts volunteers, spreading the workload while fostering community pride and spirit.

Learn more about the Tree City USA program online or call 402-474-5655 for a free booklet.

Conservation Department foresters are available to assist any community needing tree care instruction. For assistance in applying for Tree City USA certification, contact your local Conservation Department forester (see page 3 for regional office phone numbers), or go visit the links listed below and scroll down to “Tree City USA,” where you can download a Tree City USA workbook.

Tree City USA Communities in Missouri

Certification takes place at the end of the year. The following 70 communities had achieved certification at the end of 2006.

Ash Grove • Ballwin • Blue Springs • Branson • Brentwood • Brunswick

• Cape Girardeau • Carthage • Centralia • Chesterfield • Chillicothe •

Clayton • Columbia • Crestwood • Creve Coeur • Des Peres • Dexter •

Ellisville • Eureka • Exeter • Fayette • Fenton • Ferguson •

Florissant • Gladstone • Grandview • Greendale • Hannibal • Hermann

• Independence • Jackson • Jefferson City • Kahoka • Kansas City •

Kearney • Kirksville • Kirkwood • Lake St. Louis • Liberty • Maplewood

• Marshfield • Maryland Heights • Maryville • Memphis • Mexico •

Mountain View • North Kansas City • Oakland • O’Fallon • Ozark •

Parkville • Plattsburg • Raytown • Richmond Heights • Rock Hill •

Savannah • Springfield • St. Charles • St. Joseph • St. Louis • St. Peters

• Sturgeon • Town & Country • Trenton • Twin Oaks • University City • Warson Woods • Washington • Webster Groves • Willard

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