Trees & Parks
HISTORY - HOLDING EVENTS - TREE MAINTENANCE - TRIMMING - REMOVAL POLICY - NEW TREE PLANTING
A Bit of History
The centerfold illustration in the 1905 Parkview promotional brochure showed prospective lot buyers a rendering with tree-lined streets, sidewalks, and three tree-filled parks. Parkview was prize real estate, on high ground, adjacent to the new Washington University campus. It was the largest and the last of the private neighborhoods designed by Julius Pitzman (designer of Portland and Westmoreland Places and Compton Heights).
While types of early trees were not specified, period photos show Center Street was lined with fast-growing but short-lived poplars, which gave a formal quality to this street. The other streets appear to have been planted with a variety of deciduous shade trees including pin-oaks, elms and sycamores. In the early years, the last six lots of Westgate (numbers 443-515) were dedicated to a temporary nursery for hundreds of trees and shrubs until permanently planted. Interestingly, the sycamore was especially favored in the 1920s and 30s because it could tolerate the dense smoke that choked St. Louis during those years.
Our beautiful trees make Parkview an "urban oasis"" in the hot summer months. From the earliest days, the neighborhood dedicated resources to maintaining and replanting a variety of trees in our Tree-lawns and parks to ensure our "oasis".
Keep our Parks Beautiful
Our parks are designed with ample green space for dogs and kids to play. The only trees of suitable size for climbing are the pine trees in Pershing Park. Please keep your children from breaking limbs off bushes and trees and playing in the garden beds.
Thanks to all the dog owners for picking up after your pooch! It makes a big difference to everyone!
If you are planning a special event and wish to use the park, please ask an agent to schedule it for you. Pershing Park is the only area with electrical outlets.
Parkview provides (pays for) the following park services:
- Irrigation systems maintenance
- Mowing of grass and leaf removal
- Water usage
- Electricity (Pershing Park only)
- Dead limb & tree removal
There is NO yard waste removal from our parks. Please don't drag tree limbs, leaves, or grass clippings to the parks for disposal. Inform your lawn care service of this policy.
The Parkview tree-lawns are within the street easement and, according to the 1905 Indentures, are to be "protected, maintained and managed" by the Agents. Therefore, street trees may not be removed, replaced, or new trees planted without consent of the Agents.
Parkview's Trees and Parks Committee runs a proactive maintenance program. Designed to enhance community safety and minimize risk of personal injury, property damage and obstruction of public streets, the maintenance plan for street trees includes, among other things, inoculations and raising the canopy when appropriate, as well as periodic preventive trimming and removal of dead limbs. It may also include removal of diseased trees or in trees showing significant signs of decline.
Tree Inventory and Monitoring
The Agents work with a certified arborist to maintain an inventory of trees in our tree-lawns and parks, noting condition and recommended maintenance for each tree. The arborist and tree maintenance company are selected by the Agents based on expertise, experience, customer service, responsiveness and overall value. Agents typically use recommendations from the certified arborist to suggest needed action, but also rely on input from neighbors and the Trees and Parks Committee. Priorities for tree maintenance activities are set based upon an annual walking tour survey of all neighborhood trees.
Trimming and Dead Wooding
Trimming and “dead wooding” occurs at intervals based upon priorities established with the arborist and relative risk each tree presents. This may include raising the canopy of street trees, removing dead limbs and branches and other activities that promote the overall health of the trees and protect the safety of our Neighbors.
In general, trees are trimmed every 3-5 years on a rotating basis. After a neighborhood-wide trimming in 2009, we now trim a street or two each year. This work has resulted in a significant decrease in fallen branches, even after some of the most severe storms and high winds. The rotation will continue for the foreseeable future. Trees may be trimmed “off cycle” as needed.
Trimming and dead wooding takes place in the winter or very early spring when the trees are dormant. Parkview has a high percentage of Pin Oaks, which are susceptible to disease and pests. By trimming when the tree sap isn’t flowing, this risk is significantly mitigated.
Lot owners may remove dead limbs in tree-lawn trees that present a risk of personal injury or property damage at their own expense, without prior consent from the Agents. However, any other tree-lawn removal, without Agent review, shall be subject to remediation at the lot owner’s expense.
Fallen Limbs & Trees
Disposal of fallen limbs is the responsibility of lot owners. Please follow City of St. Louis and University City policies for limb collection. Fallen trees or limbs too large to be handled individually can be removed by calling the Agents. The rule of reason applies.
Parkview's trees are one of our most valuable assets, and a decision to remove a tree is never taken lightly. However, the safety of neighbors comes first, and when a tree shows significant, irreversible decline, advanced disease or poses an imminent threat, it will be removed. Since Parkview has a large number of mature trees showing signs of stress and decline, the Tree and Parks Committee proactively monitors and sets priorities with the arborist regarding imminent risk. This includes an ongoing evaluation of how much of the tree has already died, the safety risk it poses and the chance, if any, of recovery.
Tree removal process:
- After a tree is identified for removal by the arborist, the Tree and Parks Committee will review the recommendation, conduct its own evaluation of the tree and make a recommendation to the Agents.
- If the initial removal plan is approved, the lot owner where the tree is located will be notified by a member of the Trees and Parks Committee and given a summary of the tree’s condition, reason for removal and timing of scheduled removal.
- Should they question the decision to remove the tree, a resident may, at their own expense, consult an arborist for a second opinion and provide those findings to the Agents within 30 days of initial notification.
- That information, along with the initial findings of the Parkview arborist and the Tree and Parks Committee, will be taken into consideration before a final decision to remove the tree is made.
Parkview works with the arborist to maintain a plan for tree replacement that includes both spacing and species. For example, after mature trees are removed, it is not recommended to plant a new tree in the immediate vicinity for several years because of the remaining roots (even if stump removal has taken place). The Agents also utilize the “Trees Appropriate for Use on Tree Lawns” guide compiled by the Parkview Horticultural Society in 2012, which identified species proven to be dependable, disease-resistant and low maintenance.
Spacing of new plantings is determined at the canopy level, as opposed to the street level, and when there is room for a tree on the street level but not at the canopy level, dwarfs or lower canopy trees may be used. In order to prevent the spread of disease, a tree is never planted next to a tree of the same species. When new trees are planted, it is the responsibility of the resident to regularly water the tree until that year’s first frost.
Because lot owners own their Alleys (to the midpoint), we urge neighbors to continue to do what they can to provide mutual assistance and preventive maintenance, removing debris and trimming low-hanging trees. Take preventive steps to strengthen Alley and yard trees by watering, feeding and appropriate trimming.
Parkview Tree Fund
In 2008 the Parkview Horticultural Society established the Parkview Tree Fund. The purpose of this fund is to aid the agents in the planting of new trees in Parkview.
A list of tree plantings needed, their location and an approximate cost is be available by contacting the Parkview Horticultural Society. You may choose a tree as a memorial or in celebration of a person or event. The Agents will coordinate the purchase and planting of the tree.
Contact: Judith Giraud (click on name for email program to open) for more information.