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  The Main Street Tree Manifesto:   Trees are a Key Part of an Integrated Streetscape

The Village of Irvington values people. We want to make our Main Street as pedestrianfriendly as possible. We want to encourage our children to walk to school and our citizens to enjoy our streets, parks and views. We want to encourage visitors to take advantage of all our village has to offer. The Village of Irvington values its businesses. We understand that the vibrancy of our village depends on a thriving and enthusiastic business community. We understand that there is synergy between prosperous businesses and a successful village – not just in monetary terms but also in terms of spirit. The Village of Irvington values diversity. We embrace our differences and continually try to keep our focus on how we can involve and address the concerns of all of the community – kids, teens, commuters, senior citizens, workmen, hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs, dreamers, builders, developers, moms and dads, and everyone in between. We need to accommodate them all. The Village of Irvington values its history. Our history has been about the juxtaposition of commercial enterprise with open space and scenic beauty since the beginning. Our community has remained relatively small (pop 2,299 in 1898 and 6,631 in 2000) and the qualities that attracted wealthy New Yorkers to build summer residences here in the 19 th and early 20 th centuries - convenient rail transportation, cool summer breezes off the Hudson and green space – still exist. The Main Street streetscape includes many examples of the architecture of 100 years ago, and we value its historic character. The Village of Irvington values its views. Open views of the Hudson River can be seen from the moment you turn onto Main Street from Route 9 and often include ships passing by. The river draws you and captivates you. You know you’re home when you see the river. The Village of Irvington values trees. We already have one of the most comprehensive Tree Ordinances in the area, and our volunteer Tree Commission, under the leadership of Mark Gilliland, has been actively revising that code to reflect state-of-the-art principles of urban forest management. We have a Tree Inventory for our village, providing us with facts and data to help us understand how to plan. We know that trees are good for people, for the ecosystem, and for economics. The Village of Irvington values sustainability. Sustainability means that any plans we make now should have value for the long term. Our Main Street trees need our help! We don’t have a sustainable long-term plan for tree management along Main Street. Main Street trees can seem “invisible” – we don’t look at them too closely and we don’t think about why they’re important to us. We notice that there have some blossoms in spring and we have the general impression of green leaves in summer. Maybe some of us have noticed trees being removed or being harshly pruned by Con Ed contractors.

 

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But let’s remember why Main Street trees are important: •

They provide benefits to the environment by virtue of their foliage – absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, creating shade, providing habitat. But really the vast majority of our “urban forest” is located in the rest of the Village. The photo below, taken from across the river, gives a good overview of the tree canopy in our village, even though the picture was taken in winter.

The contribution of Main Street trees to this canopy is minimal. So we really need to look at other, perhaps less obvious reasons that these trees are so important for our village. •

They soften the streetscape. Main Street is not very wide and there is parking on both sides of the street. It is one of only 2 ways to get to the train station and the only way that delivery trucks can serve the Main Street area. That means lots of cars, trucks, asphalt and concrete. There needs to be soft amongst the hard. Only a few buildings have open space next to their facades for planting, so the street trees provide most of the softscape.

They provide visual uniformity. At least that’s what they used to provide, and should again. Visual uniformity of trees along Main Street is a long-standing tradition, both here in Irvington and all over America. It’s what you expect to see – a tree-lined street speaks of prosperity and calming predictability. A visually uniform “treescape” ties together disparate building facades and heights, creating a stronger sense of neighborhood identity.

An aesthetically pleasing streetscape that includes healthy trees and flowers draws people to want to walk, making the village more “livable” and potentially improving business opportunities.

Healthy trees with multi-season interest connect people to nature and engage the human senses. The trees may have flowers, berries, beautiful fall foliage and interesting bark. Songbirds may be attracted to the berries, seasonal flower displays with beautiful colors and textures may be planted under the trees and winter lights may twinkle warmly on the branches. Being connected to nature is a great stress reducer.

Healthy trees can capture stormwater that would otherwise run off into storm sewers.

 

 

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The challenge for municipal arborists and planners is to provide a visually   uniform “treescape” while also including sufficient diversity of tree species. We know that the only sustainable plan for street trees is to include enough different kinds of trees that diseases or pests can’t wipe out the entire “treescape”. The special added challenge that planners for Irvington’s Main Street face is the need to keep the trees from growing into the overhead wires. We see examples of how Con Ed “prunes” street trees to provide sufficient line clearance, and recognize that this kind of pruning is unnatural, unhealthy and downright ugly. Our best and most sustainable “treescape” will be achieved if we use small trees that won’t need to be pruned or topped. Oaks that have been planted in our 4’ X 3’ tree wells may start as 10’ tall trees, but they’re destined by their biology to become 80 - 100’ tall with trunks of 25” diameter or larger. Main Street can’t accommodate trees of this size, even if there was open soil space and a healthy root zone. We may yearn for the “good old days” of stately elms, but such trees are simply too large. Small trees need less space. The key is to find a way to re-create that procession of trees down Main Street – visual uniformity – without using trees that will grow tall. To do that, there needs to be an additional design element that contributes to the visual uniformity. We propose to submit a grant to the NYS DEC Urban and Community Forestry Program to fund a pilot project, targeting one block in the middle of Main Street to remove existing over-mature or declining street trees and replace them with new trees in planters. Our plan is a sustainable one. We are proposing to use small ornamental trees planted above ground in freestanding planters to create visual uniformity. We’ve selected 5 different species of small ornamental trees to use based on their relatively slow growth rate and their ornamental qualities – spring flowers, berries, colored leaves, beautiful fall foliage colors and interesting silhouettes. Most of the chosen trees are native as well. The pilot project will address just one block of Main Street at first, since we believe that our proposed design and placement of the new trees in planters will provide enough visual uniformity to give Irvington citizens an idea of what this plan would look like if it were extended to other blocks of Main Street. If, in the end, a decision is made that this is not the way to go for our Main Street trees, the planters can be easily relocated to other parts of the Village and the existing tree wells will still be there. One critical aspect of this project is the choice of which planter to use. There are several choices of planter style, with the caveat that the chosen planter must be large enough to accommodate a small tree, weatherproof and sturdy enough to withstand the occasional conflict with a bumper. The idea of an integrated streetscape is an important long-term goal for our Village, and the above ground planters that we use in this pilot project need to integrate with other existing and planned streetscape elements. We propose that the various stakeholders in the planter decision include the following: Tree Commission, Architectural Review Board, Beautification Committee, Business Improvement Committee, Chamber of Commerce, Department of Public Works and Department of Parks and Recreation. In the Project Timeline for the grant, the initial phase includes time for discussion of which planters and trees to purchase. The next pages of this document show a series of pictures of the trees we have selected as well as how aboveground planters with trees can create visual uniformity by adding a processional quality.  

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Spring Flowers

Berries

Fall Foliage

 Serviceberry

‘Canada Red’ Chokecherry

Cornelian Cherry Dogwood Rutgers Hybrid Pink Dogwood

Hawthorn

 

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Examples of Trees and Flowers in Above Ground Planters.    The planters themselves add to the visual uniformity and will emphasize the processional design.

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Squares

   

Part No.

Material

Exterior Size (top x bottom x height)

Interior Size (top x bottom x height)

Weight (lbs.)

Soil Volume (cubic ft.)

Matching Ir

UR-1800

FRP

18” x 14.5” x 24”

14” x 14” x 23”

25

3.5

CWC-R1100

UR-2400

FRP

24” x 19.5” x 27”

21” x 19” x 26”

30

7.2

CWC-1850/C

URT-2400

FRP

24” x 20.5” x 48”

22” x 20” x 47.5”

65

11

CWC-1850/C

For Irvington’s Main Street, we will use commercial-grade planters large enough to accommodate small UR-3000 FRP 30” x 24.5” x 34” 26” x 24” x 33” 40 14 trees. The types of planters which are best to use fall into two categories: those constructed of powderUR-3600 FRP 36” x 30” x 34” 32” x 29.2” x 33” 75 20 coated steel with a heavy-duty plastic UR-4200 insert forFRP planting42”(insert not shown in picture below)85or those x 36.5” x 36” 38” x 36” x 35.5” 30 made of an aggregate of sand, dried silica and cement with glass fiber strands providing longitudinal UR-4800 FRP 48” x 42” x 42” 44” x 41” x 41” 125 48 tensile strength and formulated to resist alkalinity. A few examples are illustrated below (for UR-6000 FRP 60” x 53.4” x 42” 56” x 53” x 41.5” 135 75 information and inspiration only). Materials, finishes, shapes and sizes will be determined if the grant is UR-7200 FRP 72” x 65” x 44” 68” x 64” x 43.5” 165 117 funded. UCR-2400 GFRC 24” x 19.5” x 27” 21” x 16.5” x 26” 250 5.5

CWM-R2020

CWM-R2020

CWM-R2020

CWM-R2920

CWM-R2920

CWM-R2920

CWC-1850/C

UCRT-2400

GFRC

24” x 20.5” x 48”

22” x 18.5” x 47”

400

12

CWC-R1850

UCR-3000

GFRC

30” x 24.5” x 32”

26” x 22.5” x 31”

365

12

CWM-R2020

UCR-3600

GFRC

36” x 30” x 34”

32” x 28” x 33”

500

20

CWM-R2020

UCR-4800

GFRC

48” x 42” c 32”

43” x 40” x 31”

800

44

CWM-R2920

Exterior (top)

(height)

Rectangles Part No.

Material

(bottom)

Interior (top)

(bottom)

(height)

Weight (lbs.)

UR-241824

FRP

24” x 18”

20.5” x 13.5”

24”

20” x 14”

20” x 13”

23.5”

17

4.75

UR-361824

FRP

36” x 18”

32.5 “x 13.5”

24”

32” x 14”

32” x 13”

23.5”

33

7.3

UR-362424

FRP

36” x 24”

32” x 20”

24”

32” x 20”

32” x 20”

23.5”

35

9.5

UR-363030

FRP

36” x 30”

38” x 25”

30”

32” x 26”

31” x 25”

29.5”

46

15

Village FRPCollection 48” x 18”

UR-481824

44.5” x 13.5”

24”

44” x 14”

44” x 13”

23.5”

40

10

44” x 20”

24”

44” x 20”

44” x 20”

23.5”

45

13

A traditional style that stands out in a crowd.

UR-482424

FRP

48” x 24”

UR-483030 30” world? 43” xThe 25”Village Collection 30” 44” x 25” fiberglass 43” xand 25”concrete 29.5” How do youFRP go traditional48” in a xmodern are lightweight planters

55

20

that are at home The style, with it’s24” slight taper and elegant impression UR-601824 FRPin nearly any 60”urban x 18”setting.56.5” x 13.5” 56” x 14”foot, give 56”axtraditional 13” 23.5”

50

12.5

without really being traditional.

UR-602424

FRP

UR-603030 Rounds FRP Part No. Material UCR-241824 GFRC

60” x 24”

56” x 20”

24”

56” x 26”

56” x 20”

23.5”

55

16

60” x 30”

56” x 25”

30”

56” x 26”

56” x 20”

29.5”

67

25.5

24” x 18”

Exterior Size (top x bottom x height)

20.5” x 13.5”

Weight 24”

32.5x 14.5” x 13.5” 14.7” x 19.75”

24” 13

(lbs.)

Irrigation 20” x 14”Matching18.5” x 11.5”

23”

190

4.2

32” x 14”CWC-1300/CWM-1114-MS 30.5” x 11.5”

23”

250

6.6

Soil Volume (cubic ft.)

GFRC FRP

VS-2400 UCR-481824

FRP

23.5” x 18.5” x 23.75”

16.7” x 18” x 23.5”

VS-3000

FRP

30.5” x 24.5” x 29.5”

25.25” x 24” x 29.25”

VS-4200

FRP

42.5” x 35.5” x 33”

36” x 35” x 32.5”

50

22.5

CWC-3300/CWM-1720-4k

VS-6000

FRP

60.5” x 54” x 39”

53” x 52” x 38.5”

90

59

CWM-2920-4k

VCS-2400

GFRC

23.5” x 21” x 23.75”

19” x 19” x 23”

190

4.4

CWC-1600/CWM-1114-2k

VCS-3000

GFRC

30.5” x 27” x 29.5”

25.5 x 25” x 28.75”

300

9

CWC-2100/CWM-1720-2k

VCS-3600

GFRC

36.5” x 33” x 30”

30.75” x 31” x 29”

370

14.5

CWC-2500/CWM-1720-3k

VCS-4200

GFRC

42.5 x 39.5” x 33”

36” x 37.5” x 32”

475

22

CWC-3300/CWM-1720-4k

VCS-6000

GFRC

60.5 x 54” x 39”

53” x 50” x 38”

825

58

CWM-2920-4k

GFRC

GFRC FRP

36” x 18” 19.5” x 15” x 20”

Interior Size (top x bottom x height)

UCR-361824 VS-1800 UCR-601824 VS-3600

48” x 18”

60” x 18” 36.5” x 30.5” x 30”

44.5” x 13.5

56.5” x 13.5” 31” x 29.7” x 29.5”

2.6

19 24”

4.7

33

10

24” 46

15

44” x 14”CWC-1500/CWM-1114-2k 42.5” x 11.5” CWC-2100/CWM-1720-2k

56” x 14”CWC-2500/CWM-1720-3k 54.5” x 11.5”

23”

315

9

23”

375

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Site Furnishings Part No.

Material

Shape

Exterior Dimensions

Description

VS-ASH

FRP

Round

18”dia x 24”H

Ash Can with Lid (see page 88)

VCS-ASH

GFRC

Round

18”dia x 24”H

Ash Can with Lid (see page 88)

VS-TRS

FRP

Round

24”dia x 30”H

Trash Can with LLDPE Liner and Lid (see page 88)

VCS-TRS

GFRC

Round

24”dia x 30”H

Trash Can with LLDPE Liner and Lid (see page 88)

VS-ATR

FRP

Round

24”dia x 30”H

Trash Can with LLDPE Linder and Ash Lid (see page 88)

VCS-ATR

GFRC

Round

24”dia x 30”H

Trash Can with LLDPE Linder and Ash Lid (see page 88)

FAR PAGE Downtown Streetscape City of Midland, MI Village Collection FRP planters and CWM container irrigation systems line the main street of town.

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that would work with current architecture, but wouldn’t then a simple reveal to emphasize the shape. Whether lection works in most urban settings.

Weight (lbs.)

Soil   Volume (cubic   ft.)

Matching Irrigation

14

3

CWC-1300/CWM-1114-MS

22

6

CWC-1600/CWM-1114-2k

Soil Volu (cubic ft.)

Pots, Planters & Site Furnishings

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Irvington's Main Street Tree Manifesto