FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2023
City of Kingston Street Tree Program Plants 38 Trees in 2023
Applications Open for Spring Planting Requests
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that, in 2023, the City of Kingston’s Street Tree Planting program has installed 38 street trees with funds from the NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Grant program and the annual City of Kingston Shade Tree budget.
In 2023, the street trees were planted across the City of Kingston in various locations, including four cherry trees in Academy Green to replace trees that suffered storm damage, four at Rondout Gardens Apartments, three at St. Mary’s Cemetery, three at Community Action on Lindsley Ave, two at Kingston Point Beach, one at the Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center, one at the former Visitor’s Center at 20 Broadway, and 20 residences throughout Kingston, with a concentration in Midtown.
“The City of Kingston takes great pride in our trees and I am pleased to continue this important program to plant street trees throughout the City,” said Mayor Noble. “As we all well know, trees have multiple positive benefits for everything from health to environment to beautification. I encourage residents who are interested in participating in the City’s Street Tree Planting program to contact the Planning Office.”
“Since establishing the Kingston Tree Commission in 1995, the City of Kingston has maintained a strong commitment to the preservation and care for our urban landscape”, says Suzanne Cahill, Planning Director. “Our green cityscape provides our community with both ecological and economic benefits. With regular investment in the care for and planting of new street trees, we serve to promote neighborhood stability, enhanced well-being and pay homage to our original Dutch name ‘Wiltwyck’ meaning wild woods.”
The street tree application is open to City of Kingston residents and business owners with the agreement that the care and maintenance will be the property owner’s responsibility. Species are chosen by the Tree Commission, which identifies types of trees that will have a positive impact on biodiversity and will be the appropriate size for the planting locations.
In addition, as part of the Henry Street Safe Routes to School project, six trees were planted in 2023, with 22 more being planted in spring 2024 at the project’s completion. As part of the Midtown parking lots green infrastructure project, 12 trees were planted. For Arbor Day, a Sweetgum tree was planted at Rondout Neighborhood Center and an Eastern Redbud Tree of Peace was planted at City Hall during a Native American ceremony.
In May 2018, the City of Kingston completed a tree inventory and management plan of street and park trees. The tree inventory identified 3,937 total trees within the street right-of-way and maintained parkland areas.
The inventory also identified 1,198 vacant sites appropriate for new tree plantings. The Midtown area has been identified as the most highly trafficked area that is underserved for street trees.
According to the report, the most common species in the City of Kingston are Norway maple (13.1%), honey locust (10.1%), ornamental pear (8.3%), sugar maple (7.6%), and red maple (5.6%) with a total of 116 different species recorded. Almost 90% of recorded trees were in fair or better condition. Currently, Kingston’s trees provide $541,095 in annual environmental benefits.
For more information, visit https://www.kingston-ny.gov/Trees or contact the Planning Office at 845-334-3954 or [email protected] for an application.
Earlier this year, the City of Kingston received $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to hire a full-time Urban Forester for long-term tree protection and maintenance. With this funding, the City of Kingston will establish an Urban Forester position to manage the City’s urban forest holistically, taking a comprehensive approach.
The Urban Forester will analyze the City’s existing programs, policies, and conditions, engage the public in decision-making, and use that information to develop and implement a plan to increase canopy cover and resilience, decrease invasive species, address environmental sustainability, and more.
The City of Kingston has been a Tree City USA for 27 years.