Milton’s street trees provide many environmental benefits to our town. In addition to beautifying our streets and increasing property values, they protect us from the sun, cool the air, calm traffic and buffer pedestrians, absorb pollution,and feed wildlife. Previous generations of Milton citizens planted street trees on all our residential streets and bequeathed us a beautify legacy.
Unfortunately over the last decade or so, the town neglected to keep up with the natural attrition of these trees. A full inventory of the trees on all the residential streets was conducted in 2017 by the Milton Shade Tree Advisory Committee and compared to an inventory in 2007 by professional arborists. It showed an increase in tree site vacancies from 11% in 2007 to 29% in 2017. Allowing this rate of attrition to continue for another 10 years would leave us with nearly 50% tree site vacancies. The Select Board and the Department of Public Works have responded to the inventory numbers by budgeting more money since 2017 to plant enough trees to stop the attrition and to even begin to restore the deficit that has built up. We can all help by supporting continued funding for tree planting every year going forward. It is also critical to help the DPW keep the new trees aggressively watered, as well as watering the established trees in time of drought.
To prioritize tree planting sites, it would be best to respond to specific requests, so that the DPW knows the homeowner wants the tree and is willing to keep it watered during dry weeks in the growing season. This simply entails keeping the provided tree gator bag filled with water. If you would like to have a new tree to grace the front of your home,you are invited to electronically fill out the tree request application form on the DPW website following the link below.