Species diversity is vital for the health of the urban forest. In 2005, the Legacy of Greenery Committee took on the task of inventorying all trees found within the public street right-of-way. The 8-year endeavour includes trees that are planted either between the sidewalk and the street or are within 12 feet back of curb. Volunteers collected general information about each tree such as species, diameter and height. This information has been valuable to Park Services and the city forester, and is used daily for the management of the forest.
Unfortunately, what was discovered is that many species of trees have been overplanted. The top 3 overplanted species in our city are red maple, white ash and green ash. Red maples have the highest population at 24 percent of the total tree canopy, causing concern for future pests that might take claim on maple species.
The green and white ash trees make up 23 percent of the total tree canopy in our city. Emerald Ash Borer has already been found in our city which will leave a devastating impact on our ash population. Trees provide many environmental, health and aesthetic benefits so by diversifying the species we replant, we will protect the trees for future generations.
Using this mapping tool, search your address to see information about your street tree. The top species of trees planted in the city can be found in the legend and are distinguished by color. Look at your neighborhood and see what species dominate your canopy.
Notice that many of these trees are no longer on our Approved Street Trees for Overland Park list. This does not mean that you or the city should remove the tree. However, when replanting efforts occur, an appropriate species should be chosen from the list or approved by the city forester.