Missoula’s urban forest is getting some much-needed attention this fall as the City’s Urban Forestry Division works with residents to replace 79 dead or dying boulevard trees in neighborhoods throughout Missoula. Adjacent property owners have been notified the failing trees will be removed in the coming weeks. Missoula Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry Division will plant replacement trees next spring in locations where adjacent property owners have agreed to water the new trees. The Urban Forestry Division plants close to 200 new trees each year.
As part of the City’s urban forest renewal program, the failing trees will be replaced with species like linden, honey locust and bur oak that are better suited to Missoula’s arid climate and boulevard growing conditions. Many of the replacement trees are slated for the University District and the Slant Street neighborhoods, where the first boulevard maple trees were planted in the early 1900’s. The average lifespan of a maple tree in an urban setting is about 60 years, according to City Urban Forester Chris Boza. Over 90 percent of the trees being removed are maples.
“The trees selected for removal have reached the end of their natural lifespans and show significant die-back or damage to more than 50 percent of the tree,” says Boza. “In this weakened condition, boulevard trees represent an unacceptable level of risk to citizens. High-risk tree removal is an important part of urban forest management. When we’re required to remove a high-risk tree, we make every effort to plant an appropriate replacement tree as soon as possible.” City arborists will work with adjacent property owners next spring to ensure the new replacement trees are properly sited and cared for.
The project will begin the week of October 30 and will take approximately six to eight weeks to complete, depending on weather. Residents can expect minor traffic delays and limited restriction of on-street parking to protect motorists, property and people between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., weekdays. Please see link below for more information.