View Full Version : Organizing an urban tree planting

Quirky Quercus
12-28-2004, 11:26 AM
I have been looking around trying to find information on organizing a group of likeminded tree nuts to plant trees on public right-of-ways. I noticed that some cities have sections of roadway that are landscaped by a sponsor and the sponsor has to maintain that and in turn gets a little sign put up there but I don't think that would work well in Florida.

I'm mainly interested in planting large quantities of seedlings so that eventually the roads will look like the one in my photos in my previous post. I'm sure I would need to get permission from the various municipalities to plant the trees. I'm not against doing all that hard work to plant them or spending my own money to do it either although I know sometimes it's easier to get things done when you have some help.

I'd want to do this so future generations have some trees to enjoy, not for selfish reasons. Has anyone here managed to do this before that might be able to point me in the right direction as far as finding people who want to participate and getting permission to do it? I know a major obstacle I'm going to face with this is that there was so much that had to be cleared away form the hurricanes, cities might not want additional trees anywhere near the roads that could potentially fall and make more work to clear away.

12-28-2004, 12:12 PM
I think it's a cool idea, but I'm afraid you're going to run into a lot of red tape from the Florida Department of Transporation. They're going to want to keep the trees as far away from the road as possible, for safety reasons, like you said - not just the hazard from fallen trees and branches, but also reduced visibiity around curves, and they're something for people to hit when they lose control of their SUVs. I love those "tree tunnels" that you find out in the country too, but I betcha DOT people see them as a big potential problem.

Of course, there's always guerilla tree-planting tactics :twisted: . Rule #1: You never talk about Tree Club.

Quirky Quercus
12-28-2004, 12:44 PM
I'm not against following guidelines for planting trees a safe distance from the road. And trust me, this is coming from someone who slammed into a tree and totalled a car once upon a time! I still think planting in the medians or within 20 feet or so of a high speed roadway is not a good idea.

I've been looking through the ordinances for some counties and there is nothing specific with regard to planting trees in the right-of-way. In fact, I'm finding a lot of ordinances requiring it for improved land in some places but again, nothing says you can't do it.

Some communities like Tampa and Orlando have a program where volunteers plant trees (with city money) but I haven't been able to really find out much about how active those programs are.

Some cities like Champaign, IL let you plant trees in the right-of-way if you follow their long list of acceptable species.

Fort Lauderdale, FL has an adopt a tree program where they give you free trees to plant on the swale. Big ones too 15 gallon or so.

I may not have too much resistance but I suppose if things don't look good I can always go the guerrilla planting route. I think it's worth a shot to try to get support for it though because it might actually work out well. It seems like some cities are interested in having trees for a number of reasons.
And hey, isn't rule #'s 2 and 3 also "You never talk about tree club"

12-28-2004, 08:47 PM
Cool, sounds like I was a bit too cynical! :)

12-29-2004, 04:19 AM
Someplace on this site I know there is a list of honored "tree cities" so I suspect Arbor Day has a secret contact list. Round here some of the Municipalies and neighborhood busy bodies maintain gardens and have quite a bit of sway with the Aldermen on public land beautification.

Red Maple
01-05-2005, 01:03 AM
Here is a link to the U.S. Department of Transporation/Federal Highway Administration's website on Roadside Vegetation Management. They have a great awards program to recognize projects around the country. They also have some good tools to assist you with your plan to plant roadside trees.


One tool is their newsletter, Greener Roadsides, a quarterly FHWA newsletter for roadsides decision-makers.

See if they will start sending this to you and then begin to work your way through the list below. I would start by calling Charlie Marcus, the Florida State Urban Forestry Coordinator. See if you can learn of any existing tree planting projects underway in your state, and find out how they are funded & maintained.

1. Here are the Roadside Vegetation Management contacts for the State of Florida according to the FHWA website:

Florida - Jeff Caster, 850-410-5892
Tim Allen, 850-488-4562
FL Div. - George Hadley, 850-488-4562

2. Charlie Marcus
Florida Urban Forestry Coordinator
Florida Division of Forestry
3125 Conner Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399

3. Another good agency contact is the Florida State Roadway Design Office:


It is their mission, "To Develop and provide policy, procedures, criteria and standards for design of Florida Roadways; monitor their implementation; and provide training."

4. Maryland's Roadside Tree Law Summary http://www.sha.state.md.us/businesswithsha/bizStdsSpecs/oed/treesum.asp

01-15-2005, 10:48 AM
I'm interested in doing a heavy promotion asap for a Wisconsin tree planting drive. We publish a Wisconsin portal, http://www.theBubbler.com, and would like to help our nearly 3,000 Members get involved.

In addition, my little web shop does about 300 web sites - and clients are willing to give up some real estate on their home pages to link to a Wisconsin Tree-Planting drive.

I'd like to work on this with someone at ArborDay.org to get a special landing page - so we can see what we generate in terms of traffic and orders! We'll provide a place for people to log what they've done on one of our sites...or now that we've found this forum, perhaps encourage them to post here.

Also welcome posts from anyone with experience on this - and any Wisconsinites who want to help get it done!

01-23-2005, 01:46 PM
I'm interested in doing a heavy promotion asap for a Wisconsin tree planting drive. We publish a Wisconsin portal, http://www.theBubbler.com, and would like to help our nearly 3,000 Members get involved.....

A project like this will take us a number of weeks to implement, so if we're going to get it in this Spring, we need to know something soon. Glad to help work out the logistics.