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Tree Advisory Commission

Street Tree Planting in brick sidewalk.

The Tree Advisory Commission (TAC) in Historic New Castle has been advising the city administrator about the care of trees for several decades.  Historically, much of that advice has been about the removal of trees, but of late, the suggestions focus more on tree care, tree planting and the re-establishment of a new village tree canopy.  

Administratively, the five TAC members are appointed by city council and meet monthly to consider requests for tree removal, general tree trimming and identification of sites for tree planting.  All voted on recommendations are sent to  the city administrator for approval.  The city code inspector who is also in charge of tree removal, trimming and stump grinding and a tree arborist are present at most meetings.

Existing Tree Canopy:

Like so many other smaller communities, larger stands of maples, oaks, sycamores and zelkova make up our existing tree canopy.  Since many of those trees are 40-70 years old, it has been necessary to remove many due to diseases, insect damage and natural decline.  We have found, that due to their large size they often pose a threat to power lines as well to homes.  Removal of these larger trees is also expensive.

Future Tree Canopy:

Given the problems with the existing tree canopy, re-thinking our future tree canopy has led us to believe a different approach should be taken.  Rather than planting more larger trees, our emphasis is on saving as much of the old stock as possible and planting new cultivars that are 20-30’ tall and about a third less in width.  This should result in a more manageable tree stock with fewer protruding roots to damage old brick sidewalks, smaller tree limbs that can be directed in positive directions with pruning and over time, will reduce the cost substantially for tree removal.

New City Tree List:

In keeping with efforts to re-think the city tree canopy, we include a new tree list with twelve trees or cultivars that we have recently been planting on village sidewalks (see enclosed list). In most instances, clicking the highlighted blue listing, one can access a photo of the cultivar.  All the photos show trees that have a vertical growth pattern including the redbud and cherry tree, which normally have a canopy that is as wide as the tree is tall.

 Process For Tree Planting: