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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — After losing more than 700 trees after last month’s storms, the city of Dallas is developing a “master plan” to plant more.
Dallas Parks and Recreation Board President Bobby Abtahi said the trees the city lost were old, mature and thick so it isn’t just about the number lost, it’s about the quality.
“These are old, mature, thick trees, so it’s not just the number here. It’s really big, mature trees,” Abtahi said. “That is going to take a lot of time, effort, energy and money to replace that.”
He followed up saying the city will need 5,200 new trees to equal the more than 700 mature trees lost — at a cost of $1.25 million to plant and irrigate them.
TXU said it will make a sizable contribution to the effort, but the city is still looking for other companies to help.
Long-term, the city is working with the non-profit group, Texas Trees Foundation, to develop a “master plan” to plant more trees.
Matt Grubisich of the Texas Trees Foundation said planting more trees is necessary because Dallas is the second fastest warming city in the country behind Phoenix, Arizona.
And because North Texas continues to grow, more concrete roads and buildings will be needed, which will increase the heat. Grubisich said planting more trees will help people keep cool.
“We have been able to show we can reduce air temperature by as much as 15 degrees in localized areas just by increasing the tree canopy cover,” he said.
As of now, 30 percent of Dallas is covered in trees and the urban forest master plan will determine how many trees should be planted and where.
“The city is going to have to afford this,” Grubisich said. “With our urban heat island study, what we showed is if we were to lose 5 percent of our tree canopy cover, then our urban heat island would almost double… They can’t afford not to do it.”