Urban Forestry

urbanforestryRoanoke’s urban forestry program maintains 12,000 street trees and 5,000 park trees. The city maintains public trees on a request basis, supplemented with staff observations and routine maintenance of newly planted trees. Contact the forestry inspector (540-853-5219 or william.w.west@roanokeva.gov) for tree work. For emergency tree work after business hours, call 540-853-2000.

At this time, Parks and Recreation does not have funding to plant street trees. If a property owner wants a street tree on city property between the sidewalk and curb in front on his/her own property, he/she can apply to the urban forester (540-853-1994 or dan.henry@roanokeva.gov) for permission to plant one himself/herself (Street Tree Planting Permit). The urban forester is also the contact person for the Roanoke Commemorative Tree program where the city plants a tree in honor or memory of a designated person for a $350 fee. See the brochure for more details.

The City has an Urban Forestry Plan adopted by City Council as part of the city’s comprehensive plan. For a copy, contact the urban forestry planner (540-853-5225 or helen.smythers@roanokeva.gov). She is also the coordinator of the Roanoke Tree Steward program for volunteers trained to care for city trees and educate the public about trees. The training starts each January and consists of thirteen sessions. Check out the Roanoke Tree Stewards Fall 2013 Newsletter.

Roanoke is a Tree City USA. An Urban Tree Canopy Assessment showed that its overall tree canopy is 48% of its land area. The benefits that come from Roanoke’s trees include removing 304 tons of air pollutants each year, for a total annual value of $2,270,000; providing an annual energy benefit of $511,000; increasing property values by $913,127 (this statistic is for street trees only); providing an annual stormwater management benefit of street trees of $1,022,236; and providing a benefit-cost ratio of street trees of 6.61 to 1.