Tree Management Policy
In 2013, the Leach Garden Board adopted a Tree Management Policy for the Garden. This policy provides a framework for consistent management of trees and other vegetation at Leach Botanical Garden. There are two essential components of the policy. The first component is a general tree policy statement calling for tree management consistent with the Garden’s plant collection goals, the Johnson Creek environment, and public safety. The second component is a Desired Future Condition (DFC) statement that characterizes vegetation communities, emphasizing the extent and type of tree canopy present in each community.
In developing the Tree Management Policy, Leach Garden completed an inventory of the Garden's 1,400 trees, and documented a tree canopy covering 60% of its total area. The policy recognizes the value of the tree canopy and makes a commitment to its long-term preservation and health as well as to the condition and diversity of the associated understory plants. The same set of policies also recognize the value of the Garden’s open areas which are needed to grow a wider variety of plants requiring full to partial sunlight. The Garden has made a commitment of no net loss of canopy coverage over time. This is reflected in the Garden’s Desired Future Condition policy and was recognized by Urban Forestry in its review and approval of our Programmatic Permit.
Some thinning is planned for the wooded hillside above the Manor House. The conifer trees listed for removal have been individually selected to improve spacing and to give remaining trees the room they need to continue to mature in good health. Trees selected for removal already have substantial defects, such as broken or weak multiple tops, or have been overtopped by adjacent conifers, or both. Additional deciduous non-contributing and/or nuisance trees will also be removed over time.