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All About Trees

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Trees are an important part of our community, whether located on public or private property. They enhance the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide, by improving water quality through filtration and erosion control, by providing temperature control and wind breaks, and by supporting wildlife habitat necessary for biodiversity. Trees have also been shown to increase property values, reduce crime, and improve mental health. 

The City of Ames has been a recognized “Tree City USA” since 1983. The Tree City USA program is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across America. The City received this recognition by demonstrating a commitment to caring for and managing our public trees.

Trees on Public Property.  If you have concerns about conditions, maintenance, or safety of trees at city parks or on city right-of-way (including the property between the sidewalk and the curb), contact Joe Newman, Parks and Recreation, at or 515-239-5341.

Emerald Ash Borer.  Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that kills all species of ash trees, has been confirmed in Story County. To slow the spread of the insect, the City has developed an EAB Response Plan. For more information, click here.

Watering Guidelines for Newly Planted Trees.  An important factor in tree survival is providing the right amount of water. The first three years are most critical, but pay attention to watering needs throughout the tree's life.

How often and how much?  Watering requirements depend on weather conditions, soil type, and soil drainage. The best way to know how often and how much to water is to check the soil moisture at 6 inches below the surface. Water when dry. In the first three years after planting, if the soil is dry provide about 1 1/2 gallons of water per diameter inch of the trunk.

Where?  Water the area within the dripline, the area located directly under the outer circumference of the tree branches. This ring around the tree canopy (on the ground level) receives most of the rainwater shed from the tree canopy, and is where the tiny rootlets are located that take up water for the tree. Trees should be watered here, not by the base of the trunk, or the tree may develop root rot. For large trees, focus watering on the area within six feet of the trunk and at the dripline.

When?  Begin checking soil moisture and watering when necessary in early spring and continue until the soil freezes.

For additional information, please refer to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Tree Owner's Manual for the Northeastern and Midwestern United States by clicking here.

Other Resources.  Avariety of resources are available to assist the City and its residents in managing trees. Follow the links below for additional information.

Tree Projects

Additional Tree Information

 tree clipart


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