Covington pruning trees in Eastside, Austinburg

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COVINGTON, Ky. - Saw-wielding workers from Covington's Urban Forestry Division are currently pruning trees in the Eastside and Austinburg neighborhoods.

Residents should be mindful of temporary parking restrictions as the crews go about their work - the third phase of a nearly four-year cycle to improve the health and safety of over 4,000 trees on the City's streetscapes and in its parks.

The across-the-city pruning has three goals, according to Urban Forester Crystal Courtney of Covington's Urban Forestry Division: To remove dead, damaged and diseased trees, branches or stems; to eliminate branches that interfere with pedestrian or car traffic, homes and lights; and to "train" trees to grow in ways that keep the tree strong and healthy.

"We've had great feedback from the community expressing the instant impact our top-notch crew has made in their neighborhoods," Courtney said. "The pruning cycle strives to be proactive rather than just reactive, especially when it comes to safeguarding the city's key piece of green infrastructure, the urban forest."

The pruning cycle started in the Eastside as a pilot project in fall 2015, focusing on streets north of Martin Luther King Drive and east of the railroad tracks. The second phase focused west of the railroad tracks, from 26th Street to the Ohio River. The fourth phase will tackle Latonia and South Covington next year.

Courtney said the city has one crew assigned to the daily pruning schedule while a second crew handles calls for service from residents.

"The first full year of the cycle went off without a hitch, staying on schedule and completing all street trees designated on the map," she said. "This year, we expect the same outcome."

Tree Pruning schedule and process:

To find out when and where trees will be pruned, please click here.

On-street parking will be restricted on tree-pruning days, with 24-hour notice given via temporary signage in the area of impact. Residents can avoid having their cars ticketed or towed by honoring the "No Parking" signs.

The day before Urban Forestry crews are scheduled to arrive, residents are encouraged to clean the sidewalks in front of their residence and avoid placing large items in the street.
Meanwhile, residents who have trees on their streets that need to be pruned can also call the Department of Public Improvements at (859) 292-2292.

The annual pruning is part of the city's ongoing efforts to increase urban forestry management, education and initiatives, marking Covington's 14th Arbor Day as a Tree City USA designee. 

Additionally, Covington is the proud recipient of the Arbor Day Foundation's Growth Award, which recognizes the City's environmental improvements and high levels of tree care throughout the community.

To learn more about urban forestry and Covington tree inventory, click here.

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