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Residential trees still available for planting in first phase of program
The City of Joplin’s Parks and Recreation Department reminds homeowners affected by the May 22 tornado that a tree replacement program is available for their use to gain shade and natural beauty to their repaired or new homes. Thousands of trees in Joplin were destroyed during the May 22 tornado.

This first round of the tree program was originally introduced in September 2011 for homeowners located in the storm-damaged area who have completed the rebuilding or repairs to their home. Residents who have reached this milestone, and who have not picked up their trees, are encouraged to participate in this beautification effort. Homeowners now have the opportunity to receive up to two trees during this round. This is just the first phase of trees to be donated, and the City will offer other opportunities in the near future as resources become available.

“Trees are a wonderful asset to a home as well as to our community,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. “We are pleased to offer this type of program through the large number of generous donations that are being received for the replacement of trees. Rebuilding is occurring throughout the City and re-establishing an urban forest is an important step in the process.”

To receive the donated trees, homeowners need to complete an application at the City’s Parks office, 3010 West 1st Street, located just west of Schifferdecker Avenue. Citizens will need to verify their address in the storm-damaged area when completing the application and may also indicate on the form if they need assistance in planting their trees. Residents will be expected to be available when volunteers arrive to help with the planting, so as to direct the specific location of the trees. The City reminds residents that all tree location sites should be selected with utility lines and lateral lines in mind. Trees are expected to have a one and a half to two inches caliper.

“We still have a number of trees remaining from the initial announcement of this program,” said Chris Cotten, Parks Director. “With this exceptionally warm weather for the winter months, there is still an opportunity to get trees replanted if the homeowners are ready for this stage.” The City also reminds residents that a comprehensive tree plan is being developed for the disaster area, and the Joplin community. “We appreciate the tremendous support from many donating trees and providing resources to purchase trees to help beautify Joplin,” said Rohr. “For those homeowners still rebuilding, please continue to watch for future announcements about the tree program.”

The donated trees will be a species on the City’s Tree List included in the recent ordinance passed by the Joplin City Council. This ordinance will provide the basis for this project moving forward. The City’s Tree List can be found on the City of Joplin’s website at www.joplinmo.org . This program is to help residents replace lost trees on their property. Information about plant in public rights-of-way in residential neighborhoods will be provided at a later date.