Joplin to update tree inventory with grant

May 29—A state grant will help pay to update the inventory of trees in Joplin city parks and to identify any in need of trimming, removal or treatment of disease.

A Missouri Department of Conservation community forestry grant will help pay the costs to hire a tree professional to update the city's tree inventory. That inventory contains the identification of the type of tree, the record of its location and other details and also assesses the condition of the trees to reduce risk of tree limbs breaking or the tree falling.

The grant is not awarded in a specific amount of money; the city turns in the costs to the state for doing the inventory and the state repays that cost or pays a portion of the expense.

In addition to the inventory, the city will be able to obtain grant funding to help with the cost of the pruning a large tree in Spiva Park at Fourth and Main streets.

"Missouri Department of Conservation has been a great partner with the city throughout the years on various projects," Paul Bloomberg, parks and recreation director, said in a statement. "They bring many helpful resources to us and our community, and we appreciate their assistance in caring for our urban forests."

The department's Community Conservation Program promotes sustainable development practices and the establishment of natural resource conservation practices in urban and developing areas of the state.

That support helps the city maintain its Tree City USA status.

According to the state's website, the grant is designed to help cities improve their community forests. It encourages those cities to run a comprehensive forestry program managed with the guidance of a forestry professional.

Since the 2011 tornado, the city has worked to replace about 17,000 trees that were lost in the storm.

The city conducted a three-phase tree study and inventory with grants in 2016 and 2017. The 2017 inventory was gathered on about 6,000 trees mainly on public rights of way.

In 2021, the city was awarded two grants totaling $21,000 that were used to prune young trees in several parks. Pruning helps the tree develop a stronger structure, reducing the chances for problems that could lead to safety issues or early removal, city officials said then.