The City of Dallas plans to plant more than 100 trees in various city parks this coming spring.
The plan is part of the initiative Branch Out Dallas, which aims to plant between 800 and 1,000 trees sometime in the middle of April.
The initiative began as an effort to combat the heat island effect — which happens when urban structures absorb and reemit heat, leading to higher temperatures — and increase the number of trees across the City.
“Each tree planted helps the City get closer to meeting these goals. Trees benefit everyone by cooling temperatures and improving air quality,” reads the Dallas City Hall website description. “Homeowners who plant a tree in their yard benefit by saving energy [and] cooling the air, and the trees also provide shade.”
Last year, more than 2,400 trees were planted at six sites.
Dallas forester Chris McMaster told Community Impact that the minimum threshold for the initiative is at least 600 trees across 12 separate events, though the initiative aims at planting as many trees as possible.
“We were one of the few volunteer events that you could go to and get out of the house and do some good,” McMaster said to Community Impact. He also said that, although the events are mostly conducted by volunteers, City employees install irrigation systems and dig holes for the trees to be planted in.
McMaster said Branch Out Dallas has met and exceeded its goal every year since its inception.
The initiative first started in 2018 with events run by volunteers. Two parks were chosen from each of the city’s districts.
In addition to its commitment to plant trees in Dallas parks, the Branch Out initiative also offers homeowners replacement trees for ones that are either aging or damaged.
The City of Dallas previously pledged to plant 18 million trees between 2020 and 2030. Part of that pledge involved the Branch Out program, as well as protecting 14 million trees within Dallas.