City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

Urban Forestry and the Changing Landscape of Upper Arlington

View the October 2016 Parks & Forestry Presentation to City Council

5th & Cambridge 1918
5th & Cambridge 2014

Trees are ever present in our daily lives here in Upper Arlington and there is no better time to stop and reflect on their importance and value than the fall, when we get to enjoy an impressive canopy of golds and reds.

The City has a long history of proactively supporting a green and healthy community. When the Thompsons first purchased the land that would become Upper Arlington in the early 1900s, they immediately began planting trees on what was previously open farmland, even before constructing new homes and roads. The City officially took control of the community’s street trees in 1946.

Things have come a long way since then: The City conducted its first official tree inventory in 1977; a large-scale tree planting occurred in 1987 in celebration of our nation’s bicentennial; a Tree Commission was created in 1988; and the City was first awarded Tree City USA status in 1990, a designation we have retained every year since.

The ongoing efforts of the Parks & Forestry Division have resulted in an ever upward street tree inventory trajectory—from 12,000 street trees in 1990 to more than 17,000 today, a 45% increase. Also of note, from Upper Arlington’s origins as an area of treeless farmland, today 35% of our landmass is covered by tree canopy.

While these results are impressive, there is no reason to stop now! Parks & Forestry will continue doing its part to add more trees to the right-of-way and in parks around the City. In fact, if the recent trend continues with our capital improvement projects—most notably the Tremont Road reconstruction project, which resulted in a net gain of more than 220 trees along just one street—we could see the growth of our majestic urban forest increase at an even faster pace.

The City encourages residents to be part of keeping UA’s impressive urban forest strong by caring for your existing trees and planting new whenever appropriate, as we collectively build upon the roots that were first planted here 100 years ago.

The Parks & Forestry Division shared details of the City’s street tree and urban forest activities in October of this year. The presentation can be viewed here.

Associated Documents

Date of Record: 2016-10-24