City Crews Planting 600 Trees Across Knoxville

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Crews Planting 600 Trees Across Knoxville

Posted: 12/19/2014

A crew with AvaLawn Lawn and Landscaping plants a tree Friday in Tyson Park.

December 19, 2014 - You'll probably see City of Knoxville Urban Forestry crews hard at work in your neighborhood sometime between now and March.

It's tree-planting season, and the City's tree experts will be analyzing soil and growing conditions in choosing from 45 different species of trees for plantings in public places - in parks, along greenways and in rights-of-way.

Kasey Krouse, the City's first Urban Forester, has throughout the year been identifying and selecting sites where new trees will be placed. Together with the City's arborist, Jeff McCarter, Krouse and his six employees will oversee the planting of more than 600 trees around Knoxville this season.

Since joining the City in 2012, Krouse has brought a new approach to managing Knoxville's trees. Knoxville, like most cities throughout the United States, has lacked diversity in its tree population and needed to rethink its urban forestry management strategy. Krouse ended the pell-mell approach of planting primarily monoculture stands of trees. These days, the City is carefully studying, inventorying and responsibly planting a diverse variety of trees.

What types of trees are being added? For the 2014-15 planting season, 45 different species of trees will be planted. That figure is almost double the number of different species planted as recently as five years ago.

Krouse also is taking a scientific approach to what trees are planted and where. He considers the make-up of the soil as well as the environment in which the trees will be growing.

"Planting native trees works if you've got the native soil. If you don't have that, exotic trees like the Zelkova and Ginkgo are a better option because they will do well in poor soil," explained Krouse.

Much of the land Krouse is planting trees on has been misused at some point over the past couple of centuries, leaving little if any virgin soil.

"Planting these trees is rewarding work," Krouse said. "It's satisfying to know that, if we do our research correctly, our children and their children will be playing under these tree canopies many decades from now.

"More immediately, neighborhood leaders and park users will notice the wider variety of tree foliage and fall colors, as well as the thickening numbers of trees on public properties in the City."