Nashville’s Urban Canopy Maintenance Program

Trees are a remarkably effective and low-cost solution to water pollution, so we are working closely with the Nashville Tree Foundation, the city, and other citizen groups to collectively restore Nashville’s tree canopy—and to plant 500,000 trees between now and 2050.

Creation of an urban canopy to fight water pollution, air pollution, and the urban heat island effect is dependent upon regular watering of newly planted trees—especially during the first two summers. A recent survey of park trees planted in 2015 and 2016 showed a 60% survival rate; which indicates that newly planted trees with no maintenance plan in place are at a higher risk of fatality.

In order to meet the maintenance needs of our growing tree canopy, we have developed a tree maintenance program that leverages city contributions of access to free water with our capacity to manage and grow environmentally based projects. Our goal is to reduce newly planted tree death by 70% by 2020, and to provide complimentary maintenance packages for trees in areas with greater impermeable surface area, lower canopy coverage, higher average surface temperatures, etc.

Watering will be based on woody plant dormancy parameters including but not limited to average day length, temperature, and precipitation. Trees in middle Tennessee typically go begin to drop leaves in November and stay dormant until March; therefore, the majority of maintenance services will take place between April and October with the exception of unseasonably warm and dry conditions. When active growth begins in the spring (when trees begin to leaf out), saplings need about an inch of precipitation per week; and the goal of the urban canopy maintenance program is to provide the deficit as needed.

The CRC will utilize National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) precipitation estimates to determine scheduling and water needs; and data reporting and area service schedules will be announced via email twice a month.

Program Fees & Benefits

For each paid maintenance package, the Cumberland River Compact will donate one year of maintenance to a tree in need.

$90/year per tree includes:

  • Regular watering
  • Pruning of suckers and shoots
  • Data collection & reporting

Does Your Tree Qualify?
For more information on how to support us in our quest to water Nashville’s thirsty trees please contact Heather Listermann.