If you’re interested in street trees, you’ve come to the right place! The Right Tree, Right Place program (RTRP) was developed by the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) to replace high risk street trees and to increase the urban tree canopy in the County. The Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) serves as a design and outreach consultant to DPW&T, working directly with community members to provide designs and recommendations that are relevant to each unique neighborhood. Participating neighborhoods are transformed by planting appropriate street trees in urban and suburban landscapes. Healthy street trees beautify neighborhoods, increase property value, and improve the environment.
By working with community leaders, civic associations, and homeowner’s associations, NDC involves residents and community leaders in beautifying their neighborhood. The change that occurs by replacing problem street trees is the perfect catalyst for community leadership to emerge. As community leaders take initiative in distributing information on street trees, residents start working together to improve their neighborhood. Suddenly neighbors have something positive to share and discuss!
The basic function of trees, as the lungs of the earth, provides the oxygen that we breathe. But there are many other benefits of trees, which have been documented through research and experiential data. Homes on tree-lined streets have higher property values than homes on barren streets, and the crime rate is lower. Myriad environmental benefits include cooling of temperatures, absorption of air pollutants, cleaning stormwater, and providing habitat for all levels of life. By providing habitat, trees support overall ecosystem diversity. A single oak tree is known to provide habitat for 500 species of insects, birds, macro-invertebrates and small mammals. (Doug Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home, 2007)
Originally started as a risk management program to replace dangerous Bradford Pear trees, the RTRP program has evolved to include replacement of large numbers of dying ash trees and placing street trees in neighborhoods that don’t have any. Right Tree, Right Place focuses specifically on planting shade trees and removing diseased and dead trees in the public right-of-way. Since its beginning in July of 2011, 21,000 street trees have been planted across the county!
For more on the perils of Bradford Pear tree, click here for an article on USA Today.
For more information about the Right Tree, Right Place program, please contact Ossana Wolff, Program Coordinator, at 301.850.1462 or email@example.com.