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Louisville Launches Online Tree Tracker

An online tracking system has been launched to help monitor and coordinate tree planting around Louisville as residents and officials work to reach Mayor Fischer’s goal of planting 10,000 new trees by 2015.To date, nearly 8,400 trees have been planted.Louisville’s Tree Advisory Commission has partnered with Brightside to launch the tracker and officials encourage residents, businesses and neighborhood groups to register all trees that have been planted as early as 2011.Erin Thompson, the city’s urban forestry coordinator, said the winter season is a great time to plant trees.“It can be bad for the human that’s digging the hole, but for the tree it’s great because they are asleep,” she said. “In the spring, when dormancy ends, they wake up in their new spot.”Mark White, Louisville’s city arborist, has compiled a list of preferred trees and shrubs for planting around the area. You can see that list here.To register a tree, click here.Thompson said creating a sustainable tree canopy in Louisville is vital for improving resident’s quality of life.“There are definitely areas of this city where you experience large pockets of heat islands and air pollution and trees help combat those situations,” she said.When placed appropriately, a tree can decrease storm water runoff, reduce urban heat and minimize wind, dust and noise disturbances.“Each individual homeowner can experience benefits of a tree through their heating and air conditioning bills being reduced,” Thompson said.Thompson recommended planting medium- to large-sized trees that can provide plenty of shade. But any sized tree is better than none,  Thompson added.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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