The Shade Tree Commission was established in 1979 to support the planting and maintenance of trees on property owned or maintained by the City.
The Tree Commission consists of volunteers who are residents of the City of Defiance and are appointed by the Mayor, with city employees serving as technical advisors. The Tree Commission meets a minimum of six times per year, all meetings are open to the public.
In 2017, Roger Herrett, Retired ODNR Service Forester and founding member of the Tree Commission, assisted the City with identifying and recording an extensive inventory of all City trees.
Duties of the Tree Commission include:
- Assist the City with planning for the planting, care, preservation, trimming, and removal of trees, shrubs and long-lived perennial plants on City property.
- Promote public awareness of recommended species for planting within the City, and the importance of environmental conditions to the selection process.
- Promote proper techniques for the planting, care and maintenance of trees and shrubs.
- Encourage public interest in urban forestry and the use of landscaping to improve air and water quality.
- Implement annual events to commemorate the observance of Arbor Day.
- Coordinate efforts to maintain the City’s status as “Tree City USA” and work toward achieving annual growth awards.
“Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow”
— reminding us that even small efforts can lead to great things.
Urban forestry is the care and management of single trees and tree populations in urban settings. Some of the many benefits of urban trees include:
- Reduce effects of urban heat island and lower summer air temperatures.
- Improve air quality by absorbing pollutants and reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
- Provide calming effects and reduce traffic noise.
- Shade provided improves human comfort, reducing risk of heat stroke.
- Trees and surrounding green space encourage more active lifestyles and better overall health.
- Reduce stress and improve emotional well-being.
- Reduce demand for energy to cool buildings.
- Protect from winter winds, reducing heating costs.
- Attract tourism, business, investment, and increase revenues in retail shopping areas.
- Increase property values in residential and commercial districts.
- Absorb and store rainwater through evapotranspiration.
- Slow down and filter runoff with their roots, decreasing demand on City storm sewers.
The Tree City USA is a nationwide program established in 1976. It provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.
More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA. They have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management:
- maintaining a tree board or department,
- having a community tree ordinance
- spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and
- celebrating Arbor Day