As a gesture of goodwill, it probably won't go far enough with some residents of North 90th Street who remain angry and distraught over the disruption they will suffer during the .
But those who are will be given more choice in replacements than many Tosa residents would have.
In recent years, the Forestry Division of the Public Works Department has greatly diversified the types of trees it will plant along the city's streets. But it still has a master plan that assigns certain trees to certain city blocks.
In most cases, if you were to lose a street tree in front of your property, its replacement would be selected from the master plan, and you would have little or no choice in the matter (although you can always ask).
Because of the uproar over the Meinecke Project, the city has agreed to expand choices of replacement trees for those affected. It will likely do the same in some future projects, such as the East Tosa/Schoonmaker Creek Project, which is far larger and still on the drawing board.
Any options available in that or other projects remain to be determined, and may not be the same as those announced for the Meinecke Project.
Trees available to project homeowners
The following trees are in the master plan for the streets most affected by the Meinecke Project. Residents who don't have another preference will see these trees planted in front of their homes:
- 90th Street from North to Meinecke avenues: Sunburst honey locust (30 to 35 feet tall, on average)
- 90th Street from North Avenue to Menomonee River Parkway: Amur corktree (although the city has been unable to purchase these recently, and has not yet identified a substitute if they remain unavailable) (15 to 20 feet)
- Meinecke Avenue from North 80th to North 86th streets: Sterling Silver linden (40 to 60 feet)
- Meinecke from 86th to 90th: Emerald Queen maple (50 to 60 feet)
- Wright Street from 80th to 85th: Deborah maple (40 to 60 feet)
Those who live at any addresses known to be losing trees – other incidental losses are expected to occur during the course of construction – have been offered these additional choices, if those above don't strike their fancy.
- Turkish filbert (40 to 50 feet tall)
- Ginkgo (60 to 80 feet)
- Ironwood (20 to 30 feet, sometimes taller)
- Serviceberry (12 to 15 feet)
- Swamp white oak (50 to 80 feet)
- English oak (50 to 80 feet)
- Swamp white/bur oak hybrid (50 to 80 feet)
- Kentucky coffeetree (60 to 70 feet)
The Forestry Division notes that except where it is the default tree in the master plan, no species or cultivar of maple may be selected.
One further option offered to dismayed homeowners is to pay for a larger tree than the city typically plants – which are typically about 2 inches in diameter.
Four-inch caliper trees of the types noted above, as available, may be purchased by a property owner for $850, installed.
But Parks and Forestry Superintendent Ken Walbrant warns that the instant gratification of a larger tree does not necessarily equate to long-term satisfaction.
Larger trees are more likely to suffer stress in transplanting and will grow slowly if at all until they recover (if they do). Typically, a 2-inch caliper tree will catch up to a 4-inch one within five years of planting, he said.
Trees available throughout Wauwatosa
The city's master tree plan includes every block of Wauwatosa and is included in the photo gallery above (it's also downloadable from the city website). You can check to see what type of tree would be planted in your block or at your property if you were to need a new tree.
The list of all trees available in the master plan – up to 36 from the four that were available some years ago – is also included in the photo gallery and is downloadable from the city site as well.
Note that if you have power lines over your side of the block, there are a limited number of small-scale trees, such as crabapples, available to you as a replacement in the future.
The city will no longer follow the former practice of planting tall-growing trees under power lines and then pruning them in the middle to grow on either side of the lines. That's now considered bad for the tree, bad for the power line (because it produces weaker trees that might still fall or break in harsh weather) and bad for the economy because it is an unsustainable cost to the Forestry Division.