Celebration’s street trees are one of the design elements that makes Celebration the special place that it is. In creating Celebration, the Disney company visited successful communities throughout the country, and virtually all of them had mature street trees placed between the sidewalk and curb.
In addition to their beauty and calming effect, street trees offer:
- Shade and rain protection for pedestrians.
- A safer walking area by creating a barrier between vehicles and people.
- Slower traffic speeds by creating vertical “walls” that narrow the visual size of the road.
- Lower drainage requirements, as trees absorb the first 30% of most precipitation through their leaves.
- Cleaner air by filtering vehicle emissions.
- Shade for streets, light fixtures – extending their life.
- A habitat for birds.
- Increased property values.
Street trees also come with issues – they must be trimmed to allow for emergency vehicle access, they drop leaves, roots impact the sidewalks and roads, and they can weaken and fall in storms.
The CDD Board understands the importance of our trees and has taken the following steps to ensure that we do a good job of addressing the issues associated with their maintenance.
- The Board hired Tom MacCubbin, the long-time Orange County urban horticulturist, to do an annual audit of our trees. He identifies general concerns, proper trimming techniques, and individual trees that need to be replaced.
- The Board recently separated tree maintenance from the general landscape contract. Trimming was often not given the attention we felt it deserved. We now use Florida Green Lawn & Tree Service for our tree maintenance, while Capital Land Management takes care of all our other landscaping. We trim every street tree up to a height of 14 feet over the roadway once every two years, and our palm trees once a year.
- To pick up leaves, we contract with a street sweeper to sweep once a week during leaf falling season and once a month in the other months.
- We have significantly increased the resources behind sidewalk repairs. We have two full-time crews that do sidewalk replacement and sidewalk grinding.
Overall, the Board is committed to having healthy street trees in Celebration. We recognize that as these trees grow, we will need to provide additional resources in order to keep Celebration clean and safe.
Tree Trimming Maintenance
Florida Green Lawn & Tree Service is the CDD’s tree trimming contractor who trims street trees within the community. What we term “street trees” are those trees located between the sidewalk and the curb in the District’s rights-of-way (aka easement) in front of residences and commercial properties and also in the common areas, excluding the Town Center commercial area, which is privately owned. Alley trees are those trees that overhang into the alleys in a resident’s backyard.
For public safety, the District trims street trees to a clearance of 14 feet over the center line of the road as requested by the fire department for emergency vehicle access. Trees are also pruned to a minimum height of 8 feet over a sidewalk for pedestrian access and 5 feet away from a structure. The home owner is responsible for general street tree maintenance (e.g., fertilizing, irrigating) and may also do additional pruning as long as proper pruning practices are used.
Trees that overhang into the alleys are not maintained by the District and are the responsibility of the home owner pursuant to the deed restrictions for Celebration. The fire department requires the trees be trimmed to at least a 14-foot clearance down the center line of the alley.
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