City Working To Replace Tulsa Trees

Friday, April 24th 2009, 6:54 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The cleanup is wrapping up and the replanting of Tulsa is under way, but have as many trees been replaced as were lost in the ice storm?

About 10,000 trees in Tulsa were destroyed on public property like parks. The city is just about done cleaning up that damage.

Now the focus is on replanting.

A team of volunteers from the United Way planted 85 crepe myrtles along the Arkansas River.

"As so we thought what better project to help regreen the city, beautify things and honor our volunteers," said Mark Graham, United Way president and CEO.

It was one of several mass plantings in Tulsa for Arbor Day. Another effort was focused on trees in parks.

Mass plantings help, but even with hundreds of trees being planted in a single day, it's nowhere close to the trees that were lost in the ice storm.

The ice storm left few trees untouched. The weaker ones collapsed, but even strong trees had damage. Since then, many that didn't fall have had to be cut down.

The city is almost done with that work -- clearing nearly 10,000 trees.

"We're in the final 3 percent of cleanup on public property," said Maureen Turner, City of Tulsa horticulturist.

The Up With trees program is coordinating an effort with the city, and its director says trees are still dying, a year and a half after the storm.

"After the storm a lot of trees greened up and look great and people think it's great," said Anna America, Up With Trees director. "But a few years down the road, they're going to get rot, it's going to have moisture problems and those trees are going to come down.

"We're going to be seeing the effects of that storm for several more years."

There's still work to do on private properties. If it's not being cleaned up, you can report it as a code violation to the Mayor's Action Line at 596-2100.