• Richard Adkins is forestry supervisor for the City of Phoenix.

    Credit: Jeanne Rieck

    Richard Adkins is forestry supervisor for the City of Phoenix.

Richard Adkins
Forestry Supervisor
Parks and Recreation Department
City of Phoenix
richard.adkins@phoenix.gov

Although soil environment, species selection, diversity, and placement are critical, early maintenance practices for young trees are paramount to long-term tree health and survivability.

Limited resources often lead to deferred maintenance of a community’s vegetation resource. This lack of stewardship often turns a valuable asset into an expensive liability. Regularly pruning young trees to encourage a healthy branching structure and limit potential defects decreases future maintenance needs and, in turn, expense.

Thoughtful integration of trees into a project’s planning process will often fall short of the sustainable goal in the absence of such measures. The small cost of proactively maintaining young trees strengthens their resilience to climate change, creating a sustainable urban forest canopy and leading to a more desirable living space for residents.

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A map of the city’s trees from Davey Tree Expert Co.