The City of West Lafayette’s Community Forestry and Greenspace program aims to diversify its methods of urban tree planting and landscape restoration projects by constructing a municipal nursery to meet the impacts of Emerald ash borer. Nearly 1,000 ash trees were removed within city right-of-way over the past 4 years, increasing both short and long-term reforestation needs. Within our park systems, the City continues to remove hazardous ash in forestlands, with needs for reforestation and management plan.
In April of 2021, the West Lafayette Tree Friends launched their most ambitious project to date–a new municipal tree nursery. This expanded capability will allow the organization to lower costs and plant more trees in our community. The Parks and Recreation Foundation has partnered in support of this project, which will have a great impact for the Parks and Recreation Department.
The municipal nursery will comprise of three sections: tree nursery, hoop-house and shrub zone, and polycarbonate greenhouse structure. The tree nursery dimensions will be 120 ft by 300 ft for 12 rows, spaced 10 feet apart, and 60 trees per row. When fully planted, the tree nursery will hold 720 trees. Saplings sizes will vary to allow for quicker initial harvest of 100 trees. Once fully planted, the City will harvest 100 trees annually for street tree and parkland planting projects, with supplemental tree orders for specific projects. This will reduce contract dependence. Seed collection and propagation will be conducted for local provenance and genotypic diversity, as well as replenishing fields post harvests.