Six trees will be removed in Maple Grove Cemetery in Russellville according to the Russellville Tree Board.

Russellville's Mayor Mark Stratton reported the board met Feb. 15 and recommend partial or complete removal of the dead trees as they pose a danger to both personnel and property.

According to a city ordinance, the Tree Board must give a 30-day notice before removing trees in the city of Russellville.

"I've seen pictures of these trees," said mayor Stratton. "They are pretty much dead and dangerous."

In 1996, Russellville became a Tree City. Then Mayor Ken Smith and the city's council adopted an ordinance and a Tree Board was appointed fulfilling two of the requirements to become a Tree City.

In 1998, the City of Russellville received its first Tree City USA designation. The designation recognizes the city's efforts to plant and maintain trees by enacting a tree ordinance.

A goal of the City of Russellville, through its Tree Board, is to be prepared and maintained an inventory of all trees located on public property within the city.

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The ordinace relates to the maintenance and protection of the trees on public property, providing definitions, and establishing a comprehensive plan providing rules and regulations regarding trees.

Mayor Stratton realizes the importance of trees in the City of Russellville, but admits sometimes trees die and for the safety of the citizens of the city must come down.

Research over the years has confirmed the immense value and benefits that mature urban trees offer our cities. Listed are a few reasons healthy trees are an important addition to a city.

Visual Appeal

Few things can compare with the aesthetic impact and seasonal interest that trees offer the urban setting. They provide huge visual appeal to any area and can significantly enhance the design of a streetscape.

Air Quality

For every 10% increase in urban tree canopy, ozone is reduced by 3-7%.

Trees are also proven to remove carbon from the air, getting absorbed and stored as cellulose in their trunks, branches, and leaves (a process known as sequestration). Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective ways of drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A single mature tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 21.6 KG/year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 humans - those are numbers to be paid attention to.

Research has also shown a 60% reduction in particulates from car exhaust fumes on streets lined with trees.

Health & Well-Being

Trees have also been proven to have a positive impact on skin cancer, asthma, hypertension, and other stress related illness by filtering out polluted air, reducing smog formation, providing shade from solar radiation, and providing an attractive, calming setting for recreation.

Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates, carbon monoxide, cadmium, nickel, and lead are all pollutants that trees work constantly to remove from the air.

Trees also form an effective sound absorbing barrier to help reduce unwanted urban noise pollution.

The biodiversity of trees in providing natural habitats for birds, squirrels, and other fauna are considered to some as incalculable.

Cost Savings

For every $1 spent on trees, a return of $2.70 in benefits is received; according to the United States Forest Service.

Managing Stormwater

For every 5% of tree cover in a community, stormwater runoff is reduced by 2%. Trees prevent stormwater runoff from reaching water courses with harmful chemicals collected from roads and sidewalks.

Property Values

Independent studies have shown a consistent 5-15% increase in property values on tree lined streets, proving that trees increase commercial and residential real estate values.

Crime Reduction

Researchers have discovered reductions in both violent and petty crime, including domestic violence through the therapeutic, calming influence of mature tree planting.

Cooling Effects

Trees reduce temperatures by shade and transpiring water. This helps reduce air conditioning bills and energy use. Studies have even proven that one mature tree can produce the same cooling effect as 10 room-sized air conditioners. This becomes an effective tool in reducing urban heat islands and hot spots in cities.

Trees can also save up to 10% of local energy consumption through their moderation of the local climate.

Adverse Wind Speed

Buildings increase wind speed as wind is forced to travel further around them. Trees significantly reduce wind speed up to a distance of 10 times their height.

Information on the benefits of trees comes from SmartCitiesDIVE.