The city of Rochester, working with Sherman’s Nursery, recently planted 27 trees along Letica Drive, from Parkdale south toward Elizabeth Street.

The city of Rochester, working with Sherman’s Nursery, recently planted 27 trees along Letica Drive, from Parkdale south toward Elizabeth Street.

Photo provided by Mark Albrecht

Tree Committee helps Rochester’s tree canopy grow

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 29, 2022


ROCHESTER — The city of Rochester is working hard to increase its tree canopy.

Last year, the city set a goal to add over 100 trees to its canopy annually through a new program called “Rochester 100.”

In the program’s first year, the city exceeded that goal, with 142 trees planted, according to Rochester City Councilman Mark Albrecht, who serves as the chair of the city’s Tree Committee.

“We’re beating those estimates very well,” Albrecht said.

This year, the city has once again pledged to add over 100 new trees citywide.

Albrecht said the effort has already started off strong, with the city’s annual Arbor Day tree plantings in Rochester Municipal Park and the first of two major tree plantings planned for this year.

Working with Sherman’s Nursery, 27 trees were recently planted along Letica Drive, from Parkdale south toward Elizabeth Street. A variety of trees were selected based on the various soil types along Letica Drive, including five American dream swamp white oaks, six exclamation plane trees, six Princeton elms, five autumn blaze maples and five sugar time crabapples.

“They did an amazing job. I can imagine, years from now, it’s just going to look beautiful with the trees hanging over the road,” said Albrecht. “Having (Interim City Manager Nik Banda) as a forester is a blessing, because we have this broad range of trees that are going to provide different colors and blooms and different homes for birds and squirrels, and things of that nature. It’s really well-thought-out and picked for the region and for the colors they are going to emit in the fall.”

Banda said working with Sherman’s Nursery has been a pleasure.

“They selected mature, established trees to plant, and installed deer guards and watering bags to support the first-year growth, with all 27 trees covered by a one-year warranty,” Banda said in a statement.

Plans are also in the works for a sugar maple grove to be installed near the Rochester Community Garden — located in Scott Street Park, on Woodward Avenue in Rochester, adjacent to the Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve and the city’s public works facility — later in the year.

The city, according to officials, has long been committed to growing its tree canopy.

Rochester recently achieved its eighth annual Tree City USA status designation by meeting the program’s four requirements: The city was required to have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The city took a step further in 2020 by forming its Tree Committee — which now includes Albrecht, Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Salvia, Council member Steve Sage and residents Melissa Weisse and William Thomas — to educate residents on the value of the urban canopy. The committee has since worked to revise the city’s tree ordinance. It continues to look at development, making sure that when homeowners or developers build, trees are replaced or money is paid into the city’s tree fund. It also has established an annual tree report, which includes figures related to the city’s existing tree canopy, and it is allocating the city’s tree fund to plant more trees in the city this year.

To help the city achieve its Rochester 100 initiative, residents and business owners can participate in the city’s “tree-bate” program. The city, through the program, will share the cost of planting one new tree, providing up to a 50% match of a tree cost up to a maximum of $250.

Albrecht said the property owner is responsible for the other half of the cost, as well as for obtaining the tree; ensuring proper planting; staking, if necessary; and obtaining a one-year standard nursery warranty.

For more information about the Rochester Tree Committee and the reimbursement program, visit