2018 - 2019 Dallas Reforestation Program Update

The 2018/2019 Dallas Reforestation Program packet is now online at the Dallas Arborist website.  For the most part, not much has changed regarding the program this year with the exception that the Approved Tree List has expanded.  We are still planning to maintain our standard selection from the list for the neighborhood parkways and medians, but we do have more options to consider for individual situations where landscape area spacing for tree planting can accommodate other species.

The program has been ongoing for nearly two decades now, but I am starting my twelfth season of coordinating the delivery of trees provided to the citizens of Dallas through the Dallas Reforestation Fund.  In the past 11 years, the program has provided over 10,000 trees at a cost of nearly $1.1 million.  We've had up years and down years on the number of projects, but there have always been projects for delivery.  We have had outstanding suppliers able to meet most situations.  All of the trees have been planted by volunteering neighborhood homeowners, scouts, corporate or non-profit volunteer workers, our enduring citizen foresters, and hard-working DISD and Dallas employees.  We are taking strides to spend this Fund faster and more efficiently to positively affect our communities.

The citizen foresters have been our volunteer generals in the field when called on.  Eric Larner is pictured with an eager group of early Saturday morning neighbors out to beautify their streets.

It's important to read the 14-page document before setting out on organizing a group for planting.  As the group leader, the larger tasks fall on you and your fellow volunteers who put together the project for the small block group or large neighborhood.  Plan for what you are capable of handling.  Dream big, but realize your limitations. We have time to establish that neighborhood forest.  Trees are patient, and we must be more so. If a first project goes well for you, it's possible a second project could be readied later in the season.  You can also come back year after year as long as spaces are available and needed to be filled.  

The packet includes plenty of local information on how to properly plant and maintain the trees. These are given through links on the pdf document.  Just as important, we provide guidance in where to plant and what to place on the limited spaces of the public parkway.  You'll see plenty of reminders that the utility location tests need to be completed as well.  We must unfortunately occasionally deny a planting location due to underground restrictions or space availability.  Every step of the tree planting is critical for the long endurance of the tree; from growing and delivering the tree, properly planting it, maintaining it (watering, mulching, and pruning), and all other important tasks including enjoying its shade.

If you live in a historic or conservation district, you will need to verify you will not violate any restrictions of that district with the tree planting.  A Certificate of Appropriateness may be necessary in some situations.  Planning early will make the time of planting all the more enjoyable. 

The City Council approved changes to the Article X (Ten) ordinance on June 27.  Although there are additional ways the Fund may be used, the planting of trees in the Dallas neighborhoods and public spaces will be the consistent use on a regular basis.  We have more organizations and active leadership in Dallas to help steer this program forward.  I'm happy to work with all of them. 

We hope your neighborhood will join our growing history of great tree planting projects.

Many of the projects for which we provide the trees have great sponsors and organizers to help lead the way.  We are glad to have such great partners working with so many volunteers.

The following provisions were authorized under Section 51A-10.135(h):

(h)           Reforestation fund.

(1)                Mitigation requirements may be met by making a payment into a special city account, to be known as the Reforestation Fund in accordance with this subsection.

(2)           The director shall administer the reforestation fund to purchase trees to plant on public property, to create an urban forest master plan and to update it periodically, to fund a staff position for managing and directing the fund for planting and urban forest education, or to acquire conservation easements or wooded property. A minimum of 50 percent of all funds provided for each fiscal year must be available to planting trees on public property or to acquire conservation easements or wooded property. 

(3)           The amount of the payment required is calculated by using the formula for appraising the value of a tree, as derived from the most recent edition of the Guide for Plant Appraisal published by the Council of Tree & Landscape Appraisers, unless another publication is designated by the building official. If more than one tree is being removed or seriously injured or not planted, the values of the trees are added when calculating the payment required.

(4)           All property purchased through this fund must be located within the city of Dallas.