The City of Akron's Tree Commission was created to respond to residents’ concerns or problems regarding trees in the city. Whether a resident is unhappy with a tree in their devilstrip, needs a street tree removed or trimmed, would like a street tree, needs to report an issue, or more, the Tree Commission is here to help.
Mission: To support the city of Akron in managing our trees and enhancing our city’s canopy to provide a safe, healthy and sustainable urban forest.
February 15, 2024
Notice is hereby given that the Akron Tree Commission will be holding a regular meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. This meeting will be conducted remotely. There will be no physical access to the meeting. Interested observers may access the meeting via livestream, which will be available at: www.akronohio.gov/youtube.
The agenda of the meeting is as follows:
1. Approval of minutes of January 16, 2024 meeting
2. Unfinished Business
a. Public Education Strategy
Final approval for brochure
Outreach to Council members
3. New Business
a. 2024 Goals
In early 2021, the City of Akron released the Akron Urban Tree Canopy Assessment and Planting Plan. This plan was the result of more than 18 months of work by the Office of Integrated Development, partnering with Davey Tree, to assess the existing tree canopy in Akron and chart a path forward to sustain the many environmental and social benefits the tree canopy generates citywide.
An urban tree canopy is the percentage of land that is covered by a layer of leaves and branches of tree crowns that shelter the ground when viewed from above. The tree canopy produces critically important benefits for an urban community, including removing pollutants and carbon from the air and reducing peak stormwater flows. A healthier urban forest is linked to improved health outcomes for residents—including lower rates of respiratory disease, improved birth outcomes, and other physical and psychological benefits. Other benefits include increasing property values, reducing the burden of the heat island effect, and enhancing a sense of safety and community in urban neighborhoods.
“The social and environmental benefits of a healthy urban forest are exponential. Unlike other infrastructure assets, the investments made into our urban forest actually increase in community value over time. Through our federally-mandated sewer program, we have pledged to plant two new trees for every one tree removed. Fulfilling this commitment, combined with a focus on reviving the urban forest in neighborhoods most impacted by tree loss and disinvestment, will ensure that the benefits of the tree canopy are not concentrated only in areas of wealth but are shared throughout Akron.” - Akron Mayor Dan HorriganThe annual benefits Akron received from its tree cover (using 2018 data) is estimated to be approximately $27.3 million. The tree canopy in Akron removed an estimated 1.2 million pounds of pollutants and 70,113 tons of carbon from the air while slowing more than 255 million gallons of stormwater from entering combined and storm sewer drains.
According to the report, Akron’s current urban tree canopy is 34.85%, which indicates a healthy urban forest when compared with similar mid-sized, northeastern cities. However, Akron has been losing tree canopy over time. In seven years, from 2011 to 2018, the Akron tree canopy lost 1.93%, which amounts to a loss of 768.12 acres of canopy. The decline is linked to various issues including the City’s sewer project, other development projects, and private residential tree loss (trees being removed voluntarily or due to old age or damage from the emerald ash borer, storms, etc.) as well as the lack of funding available for sufficient replacement. And the decline has been more concentrated in certain neighborhoods, as outlined in the report.
Residents interested in learning more about the benefits of street trees can explore the National Tree Benefits calculator tool available at www.treebenefits.com/calculator.