Even though the snow now covers the ground and the trees are bare, city officials are looking forward to the maintenance of the tree population and are expected to recommend more professional advice be used for the plantings and trimming.
Service Director Chris Easton told City Council's Public Ways Committee the city needs regular advice on the planting of the trees.
According to Easton, the city has approximately $123,000 in the tree account, which is funded by developers paying $4.15 per linear foot for tree plantings in the areas they develop. This money goes into a fund to purchase and maintain the trees.
Bruce Darlington, council's representative to the Shade Tree Commission, said the commission expects to spend $45,000 this year to purchase and plant 80 new trees and maintain the others. Fifty new trees are planned for the Tiberon Trace Development, the north side of Johnson Road in the area of Duane Land and the remaining 20 in the area of Chester and Newton.
According to the latest count, the commission maintains over 5,610 trees including Maple, Pear, Crabapple, Linden, Hawthorn, Honeylocust, Ash, Japanese Pagoda, Serviceberry, Sweetgum, Hornbeam, Oak, Zelkova, Lilac, Ginkgo, Horsechestnut, London Planetree, Birch, Maackla, Magnolia, Ironweed, Katsura, Elm, Cherry, Pine, Spruce, Cypress, Boxelder, Aspen, Chestnut and Cottonwood. Darlington said maintenance in the past has been done mostly by volunteers and the parks department, but the mature trees are now mostly beyond the reach of those persons.
For 30 years, Wadsworth has been designated a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation and National Association of State Foresters. According to the website, in order to receive the distinction of a Tree City, it has to have a tree board or department, have a tree care ordinance, maintain a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and hold an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
The city's Shade Tree Commission was established in 1962 with eight members appointed by the mayor for three-year terms, plus the city's service director and a member of council appointed by the president of council. The members receive no compensation.
According to its by-laws, the commission has the power to study, investigate, plan, advise, report and recommend to the council, public service director or mayor on any action, program, plan or legislation, which the commission shall find or determine to be necessary or advisable for the care, preservation, trimming, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in public ways, streets and alleys.
Darlington said a pruning schedule is being formulated under which about 10 percent of the trees will be pruned each year so all will have been pruned over a ten year period.
According to Darlington, trees cost up to $200 each and the cost may double if the tree comes with a warranty. Easton acknowledged many communities use arborists as advisors for tree programs.