Tree Planting Standards & Prioritization

To best cater to equitable canopy growth in Bloomington, we've created prioritization models and standard practices. These help us indicate what areas and neighborhoods are in highest needs of trees and how we facilitate planting projects.

Our Standards

In a nutshell, CanopyBloomington’s goals are to grow canopy AND community. To do that effectively and efficiently, as good stewards of the charitable funds we receive, we have established the following guidelines for tree plantings:

  1. The data we use to inform our tree planting prioritization methods is restricted to Bloomington's city limits. Therefore, our planting projects are confined within city limit boundaries.

  2. We prioritize planting events that place multiple trees in the ground at one time -- at least 20 trees for residential neighborhoods, and at least 5 trees for single-site, institutional landholder plantings.

  3. We generally will not plant more than 4 trees on a single residential property unless we are dealing with a single large, institutional landholder. We prefer to plant across multiple properties for a planting event. 

  4. To prioritize a large, institutional landholder planting (e.g. place of worship, school, etc.), we require at least a 1:1 ratio of trees to volunteers from the institution. 

  5. Most of our plantings are restricted to the fall and spring seasons, the optimal time to put trees in the ground.

Given this, here are examples of kinds of planting events we prioritize:

  • A 20-tree planting event in a residential neighborhood that involves at least 5 households, each receiving 4 trees. Even better – 10 households get involved and each receive 2 trees (as possible based on biophysical constraints)!

  • A 10-tree planting event at a school with 10 volunteers (1:1 tree to volunteer ratio).

Here are the kinds of plantings we do not prioritize, but are willing to support as defined below:

  • A single residential property owner desire a single tree to be planted on their property. 

    • In this case, we are happy to share advice over the phone or by email, or via our educational materials, but generally will not supply a tree or support its planting unless we receive a donation that exceeds the initial cost of the tree.

    • The homeowner, working with CanopyBloomington staff, can identify other neighbors who are willing to join in a planting event. As long as neighbors engage in this way, we’re interested in supplying trees and supporting plantings.  

  • Institutional landholder properties and residential properties outside of our high priority areas. Please see sliding scale payment levels for these plantings below.

Prioritization Methods & Maps
PriorityPlantingAreas_edited.png
Variables Considered

The variables below are weighted by importance and are combined to create the above map of priority planting locations. Hover for more information on each metric!

heat

URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT

Planting trees in high heat stress areas can reduce the amount of sunlight that is hitting impervious surfaces. This helps with a number of different factors including electricity costs and heat exposure. Areas in high heat stressed areas are given higher priority.

floodplain

FLOODPLAIN

 Areas close to or in foodplains have a higher chance of flooding, runoff and standing water. Planting trees near or in floodplains can help alleviate this, so these areas have higher priority.

hardscape

DISTANCE TO HARDSCAPE

Planting trees near existing impervious surfaces (hardscape) help decrease and improve the quality of water runoff. Areas in close proximity to hardscaped areas (buildings, roads, sidewalks, etc.) have higher priority.

canopy

DISTANCE TO CANOPY

 Trees near existing canopy helps decrease forest fragmentation, so areas in close proximity to canopy patches have higher priority.

population

POPULATION DENSITY

Population density is used to assign higher priority to areas with more dense populations, so that benefits provided by trees can serve more individuals.

slope

SLOPE

 Planting trees in areas that have sloped landscapes can be affected by runoff and erosion which can cause water pollution. Areas that have a percent rise from ground level are given higher priority.

income

HOUSEHOLD INCOME

Low income areas have historically experienced a lack of access to greenspace and poor canopy cover. Areas of lower household incomes are given higher priority.

erosion

EROSION

Areas of higher erodibility have a higher planting priority. Trees help keep soil in place and reduce the amount of water pollution and runoff.

race

RACE

Non-white populations have historically experienced a lack of access to greenspace and poor canopy cover. Areas with higher non-white populations are given higher priority.

permeability

SOIL PERMEABILITY

Low permeability areas are not able to absorb water in the soil as well as higher permeability areas. This can cause standing water and runoff, exacerbating water pollution. Planting in areas of low permeability helps increase permeability, so it has higher priority.

Prioritized Bloomington Neighborhoods 
neighborhoodpriority_edited.png

High priority neighborhoods have the largest proportion of high and very high priority planting acreage. 

Moderate priority neighborhoods have a moderate proportion of high and very high priority planting acreage.

Low priority neighborhoods have a low proportion of high and very high priority planting acreage.

For a more in-depth and interactive look at this map, please visit our Urban Tree and Canopy Map, then toggle on the "Neighborhood Prioritization" layer. Scroll to the bottom of this page for an address search.

Suggested Payment for Residential Plantings

HIGH

High priority neighborhoods are our target areas for our residential tree plantings. Therefore, plantings in these neighborhoods come at no cost to those receiving tree(s).

 

NO COST

MODERATE

Moderate priority neighborhoods can request tree plantings through us at a sliding scale per-tree cost.

SLIDING SCALE 

$150-$200 PER TREE

LOW

Low priority neighborhoods can request tree plantings through us at a sliding scale per-tree cost.

SLIDING SCALE

$350-$400 PER TREE

Prioritization for Institutional Landholders 

Institutional landholders can request plantings from us, too! If you're a school, place of worship, non-profit, or other business in Bloomington, please use the following identification methods to find if your property is within a high, moderate, or low priority area.

  1. If your property is within a residential neighborhood boundary, use the above priority ranking levels.

  2. If your property is outside of a residential neighborhood boundary, use the priority raking levels for zoning districts below. Zoning districts are the smallest geographic scale that the Bloomington canopy cover assessment was analyzed at. We use this geographic scale because it is more accurate than using larger scaled assessments, such as at the census tract level.

zoningprioritylevels_edited.png

High priority zones have the largest proportion of high and very high priority planting acreage. 

Moderate priority zones have a moderate proportion of high and very high priority planting acreage.

Low priority zones have a low proportion of high and very high priority planting acreage.

For a more in-depth and interactive look at this map, please visit our Urban Tree and Canopy Map, then toggle on the "Neighborhood Prioritization" layer. Scroll to the bottom of this page for an address search.

Suggested Payment Levels for Institutional Landholder Plantings

HIGH

High priority zones are our target areas for our institutional landowner plantings. Therefore, plantings in these zones come at no cost to organizations receiving tree(s).

 

NO COST

MODERATE

Moderate priority zones can request tree plantings through us at a sliding scale per-tree cost.

SLIDING SCALE 

$150-$200 PER TREE

LOW

Low priority zones can request tree plantings through us at a sliding scale per-tree cost.

SLIDING SCALE

$350-$400 PER TREE

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