While the City’s Code Enforcement and Building Inspection staff have been working to help rebuild storm-ravaged areas of Richardson in the brick-and-mortar sense, the Parks and Recreation Department is working to restore the area’s landscapes, both public and private. Richardson was designated as a Platinum Scenic City in 2017 by the Scenic City Certification Program, in part because of the number and quality of trees in its parks, greenbelts and on medians, and close to 100 of those trees were lost in 2019 from both the June and October storms.

“Many of the trees we lost were older, mature trees, some as large as 20 inches in diameter, and replacing them will take time,” said Superintendent of Parks Shohn Rodgers. “The sooner we replant, though, the sooner we’ll get back to where we were.”

Twenty-five trees were planted in Cottonwood Park in November, replacing approximately 30 percent of the Park’s trees lost in the June storm, and Rodgers noted they are thriving thanks in part to Richardson’s rainy winter. The trees were provided by local engineering firm Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam, Inc. and the Texas Trees Foundation, and are part of “Richardson Replants,” an initiative of the City to encourage replanting efforts on City land through public/private partnerships.

For replacing trees lost on private property, the City has created a brochure full of information on how to best select new trees, plant them and care for them, as well as a list of native and well-adapted trees good for our climate. In addition, two free planting/demonstration workshops were offered Feb. 29, taught by Parks and Recreation staff. More information may be found at www.cor.net/plants and www.cor.net/plantguide.

Five tips from the City’s new tree planting brochure:
• When selecting a tree, the trunk flare should be visible above the level of the soil in the container.
• If you’re replacing a tree, plant the new tree at least six feet away from the old tree’s location.
• Place the root ball on firm soil and make sure that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding grade.
• Start pruning your tree one year after planting.
• Water your tree deeply and infrequently to promote deep root growth.