For 15 years the City of Tampa has planted free trees on public rights-of-way for citizens who request it. But no one has kept track of how those trees fare, until now.
TBO.com reports that the Florida Forest Service has awarded a grant to two university-paid scientists to study why some of the trees are properly maintained by residents, and others aren't. After planting residents are responsible for keeping them watered, though the city is responsible for their pruning.
Brad Suder, superintendent of planning, design and natural resources in the city's parks and recreation department, told TBO.com that the grant's purpose is to increase participation in the city's Community Tree Program, and help ensure the new trees are maintained.
"It's going to give us some indication as to how we can either market the program better or how to implement it better," Suder said to TBO.com.
Old Seminole Heights and Southeast Seminole Heights are among the neighborhoods where the trees have better survival rates, so the scientists will begin their surveys there, along with Tampa Heights and V.M. Ybor neighborhoods. The study has no deadline, according to TBO.com.
Live oaks, red maple and elms are among the seven different types of trees planted for the program. Call community tree coordinator Tom Olson at (813) 274-5166, if you want a tree planted in your neighborhood.