Expand Tree Canopy & Enhance Frankfort’s Historic Downtown
The capitol city of Frankfort, Kentucky relied on the expertise of Urban Canopy Works to conduct a downtown inventory of over 350 potential planting sites in the central business district and surrounding neighborhoods in North and South Frankfort. The project was driven by the City’s desire to expand its canopy and enhance the historic downtown area.
The plan was created by Urban Canopy Works’ International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists designated as Municipal Specialists using the existing street tree inventory data in combination with a ground survey of downtown that updated the inventory database with more planting sites. Following directions from City staff, each planting site was categorized as capable of supporting a small, medium, or large-crown tree. The plan was created as a Geographic Information System (GIS) data layer and delivered electronically as a 3’x4’ wall map.
A single species was assigned to each site from a diverse palette of tree selections that are known to be urban-tolerant, low maintenance, and attractive. A total of 36 different species of trees were recommended, and were evenly distributed throughout the downtown area. Achieving high diversity was a major goal of the project to ensure improved resilience to impacts from pests, diseases, and climate change in future years.
Additionally, a total of 26 existing and proposed new trees were selected to be the basis for a future tree walk in downtown. Having a self-guided tour of trees in downtown would not only educate citizens and visitors about the importance and benefits of trees, but would compliment historic and cultural attractions and support economic development. It would be another amenity to make Frankfort a travel and business destination
Frankfort’s Downtown Tree Planting Plan is a useful tool for the City to begin to address tree canopy gaps in the downtown area in an efficient and systematic manner. By implementing this plan, the City will systematically be able to plant trees in all available and appropriate locations in support of economic and cultural development, and to achieve diversity and sustainability in the downtown urban forest.