29 April 2008

Branching Patterns of Street Trees

An example below of a nice effect on Republic Street. However they are placed haphazardly, and I am not so fond of this species. Many of these Chinese Elms were planted in Cincinnati in the 1980s and 1990s. They were seen as a possible replacement for the American Elm, and they are very hardy. However, they are kinda short and stumpy, and in my opinion, not a great looking street tree. They seem to branch kinda low, and the branches seem to be bunched together. I think the Honey Locust, with its wide branching pattern is a better choice, among others.


Taller trees are better for even tight streets IMO. Taller trees in NYC:

Sycamore, or London Plane trees in Portland. These are the ideal street tree IMO if there is enough space, although sometimes they can also be found on very tight streets:

Not sure of the species here:


DP said...

The London Planetree seems to be the tree du jour in NYC. "If [it] can make it there, [it can] make it anywhere." (Terrible...I know.)

NYC also defends it's trees aggressively. Nobody is even allowed to trim a tree without either special training or a permit from the city. And they started a decennial tree census to measure their success.

How aggressively does Cincy monitor/maintain their street trees?

CityKin said...

Thats a great question. I'll try to find out the answer. My guess is that they don't even inventory them.

One of the reasons I noticed these hybrid elms was that the branches stick out so low that tall trucks hit them often and break branches.

Anonymous said...

The Urban Forestry program in Cincinnati is fairly active, part of the Parks Department. The current head of the office is really great, grew up in Cincinnati and has a vested interest in the city.

They have had less effective forestry planners in the past though. In my neighborhood they planted redbuds down the main street. Pretty for about 2 weeks in the spring, ugly and stunted for the remaining 50. They're about 5-6 feet tall, tilted at odd angles, and redbuds just aren't very pretty most of the year. This was a street that, when we moved here in 68, had beautiful elms lining both sides, reaching overhead to make a green tunnel. Dutch Elm disease took them.

Radarman said...

Given room, Chinese Elms can have a great shape. Not as great as American Elms, but in the same vein.
The dark enemy is the Bradford Pear, beloved by Public Works for its mannerly roots, but the tree looks like a fake - something for a trade show inside a convention center.

CityKin said...

Yeah, I can't stand those, they look like lollipops instead of trees. The flowers are ok in April, but then blah.

VisuaLingual said...

Speaking of which, what are the trees on Race St. that had white blooms recently? That was such a pretty sight but, man, those flowers stink!

Anonymous said...

^ those are the Bradford Pears. Another nice street tree I know is the linden. They can get quite huge, there are 4-5 big ones in Washington Park. They also have a beautiful scent when in flower and I love to drive down West Clifton with the windows down on evenings in June to catch it.