Caption: Mesquite, Prosopis velutina, is the most common tree found in Phoenix area parks. This beauty lives in Encanto Park.
Phoenix city parks and street landscapes are the home to a veritable forest in the city that adds millions of dollars worth of benefits to our quality of life. We recently completed a complete inventory of the trees in city parks and along city streets and have outlined details below.
The 92,834 trees in Phoenix parks, along city streets and around municipal facilities provide $5.6 million in annual benefits to residents in improved air quality, storm water management, energy savings, shade and aesthetics.* The trees, plants and cactuses cover more than 150 species, which is considered a healthy mix.
What’s the most common tree type in city parks and along city streets? The Mesquite, Prosopis velutina – it accounts for 8.8 percent of the trees in these areas. Blue Palo Verde, Parkinsonia florida is second at 6.8 percent. The rest of the top ten most common trees:
- Pinus halepensis -- Aleppo pine 5.8%
- Parkinsonia praecox -- Palo brea 5.3%
- Ulmus parvifolia -- Evergreen (Chinese) elm 4.3%
- Dalbergia sissoo -- Indian rosewood 4.1%
- Washingtonia filifera -- California fan palm 3.8%
- Acacia stenophylla -- Shoestring acacia 3.1%
- Washingtonia robust -- Mexican fan palm 3.1%
- Fraxinus velutina -- Arizona ash 3.0%
Phoenix’s famed Encanto Park has one of the greatest concentrations of trees in the city park system. The park’s 1,760 trees and palms have an appraised replacement value of more than $6 million and provide $76,000 annually in benefits in improved air quality, storm water management, energy savings, shade and aesthetics.
*City staff calculated the financial benefit using I-Tree, a program developed in a cooperative partnership of the U.S. Forest Service, the Society of Municipal Arborists, the Arbor Day Foundation, the International Society of Arboriculture and the Davey Resource Group. Data calculations are based on information collected locally and outlined in the Desert Southwest Community Tree Guide. The number of trees, palms and cactuses citywide fluctuates as staff and volunteers plant new ones to supplement and replace older trees.
Arizona Community Tree Council, (602) 354-3023; www.aztrees.org
Arizona State Forestry Division, (602)771-1400; www.azsf.az.gov
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Service, (602) 470-8086; ag.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/
The National Arbor Day Foundation, www.arborday.org
Treetures, 1 (800) 863-7175, www.treetures.com
National Tree Trust, (800) 846-8733
International Society of Arboriculture, www.isa-arbor.com
Phoenix Urban Forestry
E-mail inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org