The city of Phoenix has a goal to achieve 25 percent canopy cover over the city by 2030 and to reach that goal city staff is asking residents to become tree experts.

A free Developing Tree Care Workshop will be at Pecos Community Center, 14814 S. 48th St., on Saturday, Jan. 25 to teach proper planting and care of trees.

It’s part of a My Phoenix, My Park Volunteer Program the city has launched. The goal is to teach residents everything from planting to pruning so that they can choose the right tree for their own yard, said Lysistrata Hall, landscape architect for the city of Phoenix.

In 2010 the city adopted a Tree Shade Master Plan. According to research from Arizona State University the city has somewhere between 9 and 13 percent canopy cover and that number may be going down. Phoenix would like to have a 25 percent canopy cover. To reach that percentage many trees may need to be planted on private property by Phoenix residents.

“It’s relatively new but came from an understanding that trees are really solution multipliers,” Hall said. “By investing in a tree we solve multiple problems simultaneously. Instead of putting money toward all these different solutions we can put it toward one. Some of the research has come back and said for every dollar we invest in a tree we see a return investment of $2.23. They really provide such a vital role for the health and well being of our city.”

Hall said trees help lessen the urban heat island, make streets more walkable and increase property values. As the amount of trees in the city decreases the result is an increase in storm water cost and energy costs.

“We really want people to get a better sense of how to properly care for their trees and get the skills they need to plant more trees around their yard as well as feel like they can take care of them so they become less of a liability and more of an asset,” Hall said.

The class will be about three hours long. Half of it will be indoors learning the basics of the right tree in the right place. The second half will include a planting demonstration and a pruning demonstration inside the park.

For more information on the class or to register, contact Lysistrata Hall by emailing Lysistrata.hall@phoenix.gov or by calling (602) 262-4925.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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