New tree nursery hopes to preserve Brookhaven’s tree canopy

The trees will be free for residents to take once they mature.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:37 PM EDT
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BROOKHAVEN, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Nearly 48% of Atlanta is covered by trees, according to Trees Atlanta. That’s the highest percentage of overall urban tree canopy in the country.

But with new development across the metro, that canopy can fluctuate.

One metro Atlanta city is working to better balance green and growth. About 200 trees and a dozen native species – including oak, hickory, and sycamore - grow in an unsuspecting city-run nursery in Brookhaven.

City of Brookhaven Communications Director Burke Brennan said, “We place a premium on preserving Brookhaven’s tree canopy…we’ve got two things we’re trying to do. We’re trying to preserve what we have and grow if at all possible.

The trees will be free for residents to take once they mature.

Tree Canopy Preservation Manager Jeff Dadaisman said about a third of the saplings are “rescues” from developments.

“We knew they weren’t gonna get incorporated in the final we preemptively moved them,” Dadaisman said.

Brookhaven’s tree canopy fluctuates amid what it calls “unprecedented development.” 51% of the city was covered by tree canopy in 2010, before rising to 53% in 2015. It now sits at 43% coverage.

Not only do more trees promote ecological benefits, but they also bring economic benefits.

Brennan said, “they do increase property values and it has an economic development benefit as well. Studies have shown that retail establishments that have tree cover do better than those that don’t.”