The City of Albany’s Urban Forestry Program identifies trees as a valuable asset to our community. Our publicly-owned trees (generally trees between the sidewalk and roadway in the public right-of-way) can beautify neighborhoods and increase property values. Trees can also reduce noise and air pollution, keep our streets and homes cool in the summer, reduce wind and stormwater runoff in the winter, create privacy, provide habitat for wildlife and garner a sense of well-being for everyone. Trees also sequester carbon, meaning they store carbon that might otherwise be released into the atmosphere affecting global climate change. Every tree counts in the fight to reduce climate change! The larger the tree, the more benefit it provides for all of us.
Publicly-owned trees, or 'street trees' are the maintenance responsibility of the abutting property owner. However, the City may prune street trees where needed, with priority given to any emergency pruning, pruning for clearance, or other immediate needs (see Street Tree Maintenance for more info).
Additionally, the City also conducts tree planting (and concrete removal if needed to establish tree basins) as requested by homeowners (see Street Tree Planting for more info). Tree planting is typically done during the winter and spring months, while the ground is moist.
Although trees provide many benefits for residents and for our environment, there may be reason for a property owner to request that street tree to be removed. A property owner may apply for street tree removal which will then be reviewed by the Urban Forester and presented to the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission for their deliberation and approval at their monthly public meeting. (see Street Tree Removal for more info). Any removed street tree will need to be replaced with a location appropriate species.
|Passionate about our Urban Forest? Albany Tree Fund|
Want to see some of the benefits your tree provides your property and community? Click the link below and answer a few simple questions about your tree, or trees, then hit "calculate all": My Tree Benefits
TREES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
Trees benefit everyone, but sometimes trees can cause issues for neighbors. If the tree is a street tree, the Urban Forester should be able to find a solution. If the tree is on privately owned property, this FAQ should be able to give you some pointers on how to deal with the situation.
DON'T TOP TREES!
Topping is the worst thing you can do for the health of a tree! Topping removes most of the leaf growth which then starves the tree and makes it more susceptible to insects and disease. Topping also creates decay and promotes weakly attached branches that become hazards in the future and causes the tree to become a maintenance nightmare.
Cutting the top off your tree, or stubbing back limbs causes ugly, bushy, weak limbs which may grow back even higher than the original branches. Proper pruning can remove excessive growth without the problems topping creates.
If an arborists says they will top your tree, or if they advertise tree topping, please find a different arborist! Read this article for tips on what to watch for when choosing an arborist.
Always check for Certified Arborist credentials!