Not only do they shade our streets and sidewalks, they filter pollutants from our air, intercept stormwater runoff reducing erosion, cool the air and store carbon. Trees provide a feeling a community, slow traffic when planted near streets, and increase property values.
The Legacy of Greenery Committee named its first ever Canopy Street of Excellence in 2021.
Canopy streets have continuously-spaced trees near the street, with overarching limbs that are usually touching, creating a canopy.
Canopy trees have numerous benefits to the neighborhood and community. They frame the street, causing drivers to slow down; they promote a better walking environment; they are better for the environment, capturing pollution, providing habitats for animals and intercepting rainfall to decrease flooding concerns; they extend the life of the asphalt by reducing damage from sunlight; and they can increase property values.
Congratulations to residents on 101st Street from Hemlock Street to Hardy Drive in the Pinehurst Estates subdivision for receiving the first-ever Canopy Streets award. Check back for nomination forms for the 2022 award.
You can help protect Overland Park’s environment by being aware of invasive species entering our ecosystem and taking action when they arrive.
Emerald ash borer larvae drill into the bark of ash trees, feeding on the vascular tissues inside the tree over the winter. In the spring, the beetles leave the tree, but the damage to the tissue cuts off the passage of nutrients and water from the tree’s roots to its canopy.
Nearly a quarter of Overland Park’s street trees are green or white ash trees, threatened because of the emerald ash borer. There are many more ash trees in city parks, along trails and waterways, and on private property.
Overland Park’s Action Plan
Since the infestation of the emerald ash borer, Overland Park does not plant ash trees. The city will not treat infested street trees, but encourages residents to monitor the conditions of their street trees.
Forestry crews will remove dead or dying street trees by request. When funding is available, forestry crews will replace lost canopy.
Handling an Infestation
If you believe the emerald ash borer has infested your street tree or a tree on your property,
Shrub honeysuckle is a non-native, proliferate plant that outcompetes native species by growing earlier in the year and losing its leaves later than other plants. The shrub honeysuckle’s berries do not feed migratory birds as well as native species, and the plant’s shallow root system creates erosion issues. It is difficult for native ecosystems to reestablish once this shrub has moved in.
You can identify shrub honeysuckle easily in the fall. It has bright, green leaves and bright red berries when most other woodland trees and shrubs have already lost their leaves. It is often found along wooded stream banks and hillside woodlands.
Handling an Infestation
During the fall, cut shrub honeysuckle plants as low to the ground as possible. Treat the stump with herbicide to ensure it does not regrow.
Overland Park is proud to be a Tree City USA since 1978.
The Arbor Day Foundation recognizes cities across the country that meet standards of sound urban forestry management with Tree City USA designation.
Learn more about OP’s Tree City USA designation on the Arbor Day Foundation website.