Yesterday, more than 30 volunteers planted 246 plants, shrubs and trees near SMART bus stops in front of Macomb Community College and Wayne State University’s Advanced Technology Education Center in Warren as part of the Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership.
Managed by the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, Green Macomb is an initiative that supports green infrastructure to improve air and water quality, minimize flooding, reduce energy consumption, enhance aesthetics and increase property values.
The Urban Forest Partnership is Green Macomb’s first project which will increase the number of trees and vegetation in Macomb County’s most densely-populated areas. The program will increase local capacity to grow and manage healthy urban forests in communities south of the Clinton River, where urban tree canopy assessment has shown tree coverage is most lacking due to in-ground infrastructure and roadway developments, as well as Dutch elm disease and the emerald ash borer.
At yesterday’s event, a variety of native grasses and wildflowers, fragrant sumac, eastern redbud and littleleaf lindens were planted. Each tree was chosen for its ability to tolerate road salt and to offer protection from the wind and snow for those waiting at the bus stops on the busy 12 Mile Road corridor, making this a beautiful and useful addition to the area.
Funding for the project came from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Urban and Community Forestry Program, the USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program and ITC Holdings.
Fall is a wonderful time to plant a tree. As days shorten and temperatures cool, new top growth (leaves, branches and seeds) slows and shifts to encourage more root growth, helping newly-planted trees establish strong root systems for the following spring. While early spring is also a great time to plant trees, late spring plantings have less time to become established before the warmer, drier conditions of summer.
Whether planting in the spring or fall, it is important to choose the right tree in the right place for the right purpose. For more information on how to choose the appropriate tree species for the location and conditions of your planting site, visit green.macombgov.org.
Brent Geurink is an associate planner for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development’s Land and Water Resources Group.