Trees

Emerald Ash Borer
Read the update (PDF) on the Emerald ash borer.

Why Plant Trees
Public Health Benefits of Trees
  • Trees leaves help filter air pollution. Trees clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and other pollutants, and also shade cars and parking lots reducing ozone emissions from vehicles. Mature trees absorb 120-240 pounds of particulate pollutions each year.
  • Trees are nature’s water filters, capable of cleaning up the most toxic wastes, including explosives, solvents and organic wastes, largely through a dense community of microbes around the tree’s roots that clean water in exchange for nutrients, a process known as phytoremediation.
  • Trees help reduce urban runoff and the amount of sediment, pollutants, and organic matter that reach streams by diverting captured rainwater into the soil, where bacteria and other microorganisms filter out impurities
  • Trees are also the planet’s heat shield. They keep the concrete and asphalt of cities and suburbs 10 or more degrees cooler and protect our skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays.
  • Trees filter airborne pollutants and reduce the conditions that cause asthma and other respiratory problems.
Recommended Trees
At the request of the Urbandale Tree Board, the State Forester from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently conducted a survey of trees in Urbandale. As a result of the tree inventory, the following trees were recommended in order to maintain a healthy and desirable variety of trees. This list of trees, bushes and shrubs is provided as a general guideline, as there are other trees with desirable characteristics.
  • American hazelnut
  • American hop-hornbeam (ironwood)
  • American hornbeam
  • American liberty elm
  • American linden/basswood
  • American plum
  • Arrow-wood
  • Bald cypress
  • Black hills spruce
  • Black maple
  • Bur oak
  • Burning bush
  • Butternut
  • Clump river birch
  • Colorado blue spruce
  • Eastern redbud
  • Eastern white pine
  • Freeman maple (autumn blaze)
  • Ginkgo (male)
  • Golden locust
  • Greenspire linden (little leaf)
  • Hackberry
  • Ironwood
  • Kentucky coffee tree
  • Nanny berry
  • Northern catalpa
  • Northern pecan
  • Northern red oak
  • Ohio buckeye
  • Paw paw
  • Persimmon
  • Red maple
  • Redmond linden (American linden or American basswood)
  • Redosier dogwood
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shellbark hickory
  • Sugar maple
  • Swamp white oak
  • Sycamore
  • White fir
  • White oak

Not Recommended Trees
  • Ash - all variety (insect threat - emerald ash borer)
  • Honeysuckle shrubs - all variety (exotic/invasive)
  • Poplar - all variety (brittle or easily felled)
  • Maple - amur variety (exotic/invasive)
  • Locust - black variety (exotic/invasive)
  • Box elder (excessive litter and invasive)
  • Buckhorn (exotic/invasive)
  • Cottonwood (brittle or easily felled)
  • Ginkgo - female variety (excessive litter and exotic)
  • Locust - honey variety - thorn and fruit variety (excessive litter and thorns)
  • Mulberry (exotic/invasive)
  • Oak - pin variety (not native to Iowa, needs acidic soil)
  • Olive - Russian variety (exotic/invasive)
  • Elm - Siberian variety (exotic/invasive)
  • Maple - silver variety (brittle or easily felled)
  • Tree of heaven (exotic/invasive)
  • Willow (brittle or easily felled)
Tags on Ash Trees
Members of the Urbandale Tree Board recently completed an Ash Tree inventory within the Parks System. An inventory of all ash trees was done in manicured areas of Parks and public areas. Trees were tagged and numbered with silver identification numbers and the inventory was entered into the City GIS mapping system. The trees will be monitored for the Emerald Ash Borer and the inventory list will be used for budgeting and planning in the event the ash borer reaches the Metro.
A tree tag nailed on a tree