Trees Atlanta: The Art of Maintaining Lush Foliage in a Busy City
Have you ever flown into Atlanta and marveled at the city’s skyline amidst the lush green forest? Or walked the tree-lined streets and parks to wonder at the brilliant fall foliage? Much of the beauty of our treed city can be credited to one of Atlanta’s most well-known nonprofits: Trees Atlanta. Serving the metro Atlanta area since 1985, their mission statement reads: “Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized non-profit citizen’s group that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving, and educating.
Urban forests require a lot of care that can be categorized into three major efforts: maintenance, invasive species removal, and forest restoration.
Trees Atlanta does over 40,000 individual tree maintenance visits per year. These visits include watering, mulching, fertilizing, weeding and hugging (just kidding!) each tree to ensure a healthy plant. The Trees Atlanta Urban Forestry Crew tackles the care for fledgling trees to ensure our forested city is here to stay.
For a newcomer to the South, kudzu can be an astonishing spectacle as its large-leafed vines blanket its surroundings. But, we Atlantans know the devastating effects kudzu and other invasive plant species like English ivy and Chinese privet can make on native plants. Invasive species are free of natural predators in their new environment, which means they have a one-up on the native plants and can grow fast to overcome hillsides, trees and even buildings. Invasive species affect wildlife by replacing their food and habitats, reduce tree growth rates, and increase fire hazards. To see a majestic oak or magnolia tree choked of crucial sunlight and water by a vine is sad, but once again Trees Atlanta can come to the rescue! The Forest Restoration Program offers educational programs and community-based removal projects to diminish the effects of invasive species and restore native plants to their natural glory.
One primary goal for Trees Atlanta is to replace tree loss due to development. We Atlantans cherish our green space and our vibrant, varied vegetation. Watching our green space diminish due to new developments can be difficult. Luckily, Trees Atlanta is committed to planting new trees to offset loss. By hosting Forest Restoration conferences and producing a greenspace manual specific to Atlanta, Trees Atlanta aims to educate their citizens on how to evaluate, protect, and improve their community greenspaces.
Maintaining a green city is hard work, but luckily Trees Atlanta’s volunteer programs are a popular way to get involved with your community and environment. Volunteering with Trees Atlanta is a great way to make new friends and get your hands dirty! With family friendly educational programs, events specific to kids, and even a Weeds and Wine (sip wine while pulling weeds!) event, there is plenty to choose from to get some great time in nature while working with a great cause! See their event schedule here.