Why doesn't the City allow maples to be planted along streets?

You may notice that the Restricted Species list includes maple trees. This is at the recommendation of experts following the completion of an Urban Tree Canopy Assessment that found roughly 44% of City trees are maples - the result of overplanting over the decades. This lack of biodiversity and over-population of one species leave the urban canopy vulnerable to catastrophic tree loss and the City is limiting maple plantings to diversify the genus, family and species make-up to ensure a resilient urban forest.

To illustrate this vulnerability, think of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle that targets Ash trees which was first discovered in Michigan in 2002. Since then it has caused the death of 40 million Ash trees in the State, including over 10% of all City trees. Should a future pest, disease or blight impact maple trees, the City would be at risk of a catastrophic loss of nearly half of its canopy. 

Many residents report that they desire maples because of their brilliant fall colors (particularly the red maple). The City often recommends they consider alternatives that have similar characteristics, such as the Sweetgum (which can be easily mistaken for a maple) or the Frontier Elm, a Dutch Elm Disease resistant varietal that is one of the few with red-purple fall colors. There are other species with these characteristics that can help the community make the shift to a more sustainable and resilient forest canopy.

Show All Answers

1. Do I need a permit to remove a tree on private property?
2. Can I perform work on the City street tree in front of my property?
3. Can I plant a tree in the city parkway?
4. I want the City to plant a tree in the parkway near my home.
5. Why doesn't the City allow maples to be planted along streets?