If you have found your way to this tree information website for the City of Pittsburgh, chances are that you have an interest in trees. Perhaps you wish to know what is happening to street trees where you live, or maybe you just want to know more about trees in general. Either way we are glad you are here, and hope that you find what you need on this site.
7-Year Management Plan
The Forestry Division has been implementing a master plan for the care of city trees since late 2005. The plan itself was crafted by the Davey Resource Group (DRG) from Kent, Ohio. A city like Pittsburgh with over 900 miles of streets ‘should’ have 60,000 street trees, and ‘could’ have up to 90,000 street trees.
Trees are necessary to improve air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, reduce energy costs, and create pride in each neighborhood. However, Pittsburgh’s inventory showed that we only had 31,524 street trees as of August 2005. At the same time as this discovery, we became aware that fully 10% of this number of trees required removal over the next four years.
As of March 2008, all of the Priority 1 Removals have been removed, and we are engaged in Priority 2 Removals slated for 2007-2008. There are also various pruning categories, stump removal, and of course planting. It is this last category that gets the attention of everyone, since trees are a welcome site to every street. However, while the plan calls for the introduction of new trees in every year of the 7-Year Plan, we have so far devoted all of our financial resources toward the most important removal and pruning work.
From the beginning of the work plan, we knew there had to be a certain level of consistency in our routine maintenance before we could add trees that might not be cared for in a timely manner. Since late 2005 we have been progressing toward that end. In the meantime, city residents who wanted to receive a street tree adjacent to their property were able to apply in two different ways (see So You Want to Plant a Tree). The good news announced in April 2008 is that trees are on the way! A state-funded program called TreeVitalize is going to be investing in our green urban forest over the next five years, and this is very welcome news.
Public Viewing of Pittsburgh Street Tree Inventory
The public is invited to enter the city’s inventory website, TreeKeeper Database, to check street trees in your neighborhood. The inventory is a snapshot of the urban forest the day you look at it, but remember that since trees are living organisms there are constant changes to the inventory based upon new pruning, removal, and planting data.
Education and Information
The following documents are provided to help you understand more about trees, and also to engage in the city processes surrounding the care and planting of trees.