City of Perrysburg

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State of the Trees

June 27, 2024

Members of Perrysburg’s Street Tree Commission presented a “State of the Trees” report to City Council during their meeting on Tuesday, June 4. You can watch that presentation here (starting at 7:05) or view the Power Point here.

The Street Tree Commission has eight members who advise city council and the mayor on programs and legislation regarding plants in public ways. Five of those members are Perrysburg citizens whose backgrounds include arborist, pest control – TRAC certified, retired law clerk, EPA employee, Master of Forestry – GIS, and tree enthusiasts. The other four include the City’s Urban Forester, Director of Public Service, Operations Manager for Public Service, and the Planning and Zoning Administrator. The commission is also charged with the education of the public regarding the selection, planting, and care of trees. 

Commission member Kali Sawaya gave the presentation which outlined where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. 

“We’re happy to acknowledge the good things that are happening literally under our feet and often over our heads, as well as acknowledging the one part of our overhead infrastructure that actually gains value as it ages,” said Sawaya. 

With an existing tree canopy of 886 acres, the City of Perrysburg is ranked number one in Wood County for tree canopy and was named a Tree City USA for the 40th year in a row.  

“That’s quite an honor nationally,” said Sawaya. “Not many cities in the United States have been a Tree City for that long.” 

The City has also received the Growth Award for 23 consecutive years.  

“That means we’ve gone above and beyond,” said Sawaya. “We do that by gaining points in the development of the urban forest and that’s been done through many grants over the years and investment in equipment as well as in technology and people.” 

One of the successes of the Street Tree Commission was establishing standardized tree planting methods which Sawaya said has contributed to their longevity and strength. 

“We put the decision of tree selection for new builds into the commission’s hands as opposed to the developer's hands which increased the quality of trees that we are putting in.” 

The Commission’s main goal is to increase biodiversity city-wide. This includes replacing Elm trees, moderating the number and species of Maple trees, integrating native species, and planting the largest tree that is appropriate to each space.  

The Street Tree Commission meets monthly to discuss various items that include resident requests, street tree plans for residential and commercial developments, updates on tree plantings, pruning’s, and removals by City crews, and maintaining the Master Plan. It also puts out educational information such as a street tree brochure and other materials to inform citizens on how to take care of new trees and maintain existing ones. 

You can find those materials on the Street Tree Commission website. Street Tree Commission website.