2012 Summary of City Tree Maintenance
(City maintained trees in parks, golf courses, cemeteries, High Plains Arboretum, city buildings, other city property)
• Trees Removed:
Trees are removed due to: mortality, bark beetle attack, decay, wind damage, winter desiccation, drought, disease, lightning, vehicle damage, and vandalism.
Drought stressed trees are an easy target for insect and disease attack, which can be the final factor in killing the trees. Ips bark beetle, and Mountain Pine Beetle, are very small insects, which in high numbers, can attack and can kill large pine and spruce trees. We use two chain saw powered bark peelers to remove the bark. The bark peelers kill bark beetles and destroy their habitat.
Tree trunks and limbs generated from tree removal or pruning, done by City Forestry in 2012, typically do not go into the city landfill or are shipped to any other landfills. The smaller limbs and trunks less than 12 inches in diameter are chipped and used for mulch.
• Trees Pruned:
Larger park trees are generally pruned in the dormant season, November through March. Smaller trees are pruned year-round. Many smaller trees in unirrigated areas are pruned while they are being hand-watered during the summer months.
Pruning small trees (trees with a trunk diameter of 5 inches or less), allows us to direct the growth of the tree as it matures. We remove small poorly positioned branches, which affect the growth of more desirable branches. Tree care industry guidelines recommend pruning every other year on newly planted trees beginning a year after planting and continuing for six years. Pruning in larger trees primarily removes dead, broken, or weak branches.
Squirrels feeding on the high food value layers of cells under the bark on smaller branches, can cause significant die-back in many larger trees. Smaller limb die-back, if severe enough, can cause larger limb die-back. We have had to remove many small and large trees due to repetitive and heavy feeding damage done by squirrels.
• Trees Planted in City Maintained Areas:
Several trees were planted in the new Saddle Ridge Park. Many ornamental trees were planted in Lions Park as part of the airport runway remediation project. Due to budget cutbacks, and the loss of two full-time Urban Forestry personnel, many tree planting projects have been put on hold.
• Tree Watering Events:
(Each time a tree is watered during the year equals one tree watering event)
Trees watered by hand are mainly located in non-irrigated areas, including the Greenway, North Cheyenne Community Park, Downtown core area, and parts of Lions Park. All conifer evergreen trees (e.g., pine, spruce, fir and juniper) require supplemental hand watering during the late fall and winter. The amount of water used in 2012 for hand watering trees was 1.68 acre feet or 546,000 gallons. An acre foot of water is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot of water, or 325,851 gallons. Most of the water used to water the trees, 70%, was recycled water. We also use raw untreated water from Lake Absarraca. Occasionally we will use treated water from the water dispensing station at BOPU on Dillon.
Precipitation in Cheyenne in the past six years: (Average is 15.45 inches of precipitation).
Calendar year 2012: 5.30 inches below normal.
Calendar Year 2011: 3.37 inches above normal.
Calendar Year 2010: .24 inches above normal.
Calendar year 2009: 3.29 inches above normal.
Calendar year 2008: .19 inches below normal.
Calendar year 2007: .61 inches below normal.
Snowfall was 9 inches below normal for the 2011-2012 snow season.
Snowfall was 9 inches below normal for the 2010-2011 snow season.
Snowfall was 43 inches above normal for the 2009-2010 snow season.
Snowfall was 9 inches above normal for the 2008-2009 snow season.
Snowfall was 17 inches below normal for the 2007-2008 snow season.
A large amount of rainfall in a short period of time will have a high percentage of water runoff, which does not soak into the soil.
• Special Projects:
Outside of general tree maintenance activities and other city projects.
- An Arbor Day Celebration in conjunction with Cheyenne receiving the 30th year anniversary for Tree City USA, and the Wyoming State Arbor Day.
- After heavy snow or high wind events Cheyenne Urban Forestry removed broken tree branches lodged in trees, which affect the safe use of city right-of-ways. Cheyenne Urban Forestry also cleared tree debris blocking city streets, on an emergency basis.
- Installed an informational Kiosk at the High Plains Arboretum with a map of the Arboretum and information for the USDA-ARS High Plains Research Location
- Assisted with Parks And Recreation Department's Superday and Goblin Walk events.