Tree symposium will explore how to improve Northeast Ohio’s tree canopy

The Cleveland Tree Coalition, Bluestone Conservation, Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve, and other sponsors will host the Cuyahoga Tree Symposium on Friday, Sept. 23 at the Beachwood Community Center.

Moses Cleaveland TreeThe symposium will explore nature-based means for improving the region’s tree canopy and using science-based means to improve the tree-related health of county residents.

“The Cuyahoga Tree Symposium seeks to unify tree planting in line with county nature, and with the needs of specific communities, especially underserved neighborhoods,” says Cuyahoga Tree Symposium co-organizer and owner of Bluestone Conservation Roy Larick. “Residents may also learn how to get the right trees in the right places.”

Four sessions will cover legacy tree studies, community health benefits of trees, assessment of current planting programs, and a roundtable on increasing the number of trees in underserved neighborhoods.

The Cuyahoga Tree Symposium came about in early 2022 and intends to build on various recent tree studies, including the forest observations of Connecticut Land Co-surveyors in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Moses Cleaveland Tree Inventory of 2020-21, and the results of current tree ring studies.

Topics will include trees and human health from a health care providers perspective, current research on the role of trees in ecosystem and human health, and the environmental ethics of trees and health in Cuyahoga County.

Symposium participants will also assess the efficacy of three current planting programs: the County’s Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Program, Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Reforest Our City program, and Holden Forests & Gardens’ research on live forest soil inoculation to improve the performance of urban trees.

This Moses Cleaveland Tree, white oak, grows in Lutheran Cemetery on Pearl Rod in Old Brooklyn. The final session will be a roundtable discussion on using nature-based and science-based methods to develop a sustainable countywide canopy management plan. Discussion will prioritize underserved communities where trees and the tree canopy can have the greatest positive effect.

“Growing the canopy can help slow climate change and improve community health,” says Larick. “Cuyahoga County has numerous yet disparate programs for getting trees in the ground and helping them thrive.”

Click here to view the entire program. There will be both in-person and virtual options to attend, but registration is required for both options.

The symposium is Friday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Beachwood Community Center, 25225 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood.

Additional sponsors include the City of Beachwood, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.  Vendors include Meadow City Native Plant Nursery, and Rid-All Green Partnership.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.