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Tucson leaders want to plant 10,000 more trees

Planted more than 50,000 since 2013
Posted at 8:44 PM, Jun 24, 2019

TUCSON, Ariz. — If you take a look at the Tucson skyline, you probably notice the tall buildings first. But if you take a closer look, there are also a lot of trees. City council members want to see even more trees.

The optimal goal is to plant 10 to 20 trees per day, according to Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham.

Since 2013, more than 50,000 trees have been planted within the city. Cunningham says he'd like to see 10,000 more trees planted.

There are the obvious benefits of trees, such as fighting air pollution, making neighborhoods look nice, and fighting the heat island effect. But Cunningham says, it can also have economic benefits for communities.

"There's even a calming sense around trees. People feel better," Cunningham said. "They also create savings in heating and cooling your home."

Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik says there are factors that can make the tree planting program less successful.

"We have the city going in to trim a tree, and cutting it off at the base," Kozachik said. "Or, we have the utility going in to get it out of the power lines, and just chopping half of it off. And so you got half a tree canopy, or you've lost the entire tree."

The City is planting native trees like Palo Verde and Mesquite.

The Council plans to continue working with organizations like Trees for Tucson and set individual community goals for tree planting in the coming months.