The trees that line the streets in the Heights are an integral component of the historic character of the neighborhood. They significantly impact our environment, providing shade that keeps our houses cooler and enabling us to enjoy strolling the neighborhood. Some of these trees are more than a hundred years old. Many trees have been removed by adjacent development over time and many Heights streets now have gaps in the tree cover. In response, the Urban Forestry Committee of the Houston Heights Association, in collaboration with the city’s Adopt a Tree program, has initiated a program to plant trees where these gaps occur.
In June, the Heights Urban Forestry Committee teamed up with the City of Houston’s Adopt a Tree program. Three blocks of Alston Street were selected to be a demonstration area. Homeowners there selected 25 trees from the list of city approved trees ranging from Live Oak to Chinese Pistache. These trees will be delivered for planting between October 1st and the last weekday in February.
The Adopt a Tree program provides up to two five-gallon sized trees per homeowner to plant in the Right of Way located between the sidewalk and street. The homeowner must agree to water them for two years. This list of approved trees has both large species such as Burr Oak, Loblolly Pine and Elms and small ones such as American Holly and Sweetbay Magnolia, which can grow well under the canopy of large trees. There are 46 different types of trees on the list from which to pick. The five-gallon size is more likely to ensure survival during the time it takes to adapt to the new site.
The committee plans to expand this participation to many more areas of the Houston Heights. Preserving our wonderful tree canopy and adding many more diverse species will keep us all cooler and the beauty will enhance the intrinsic value of our neighborhood.