Shown above: Dave Cable, Executive Director, plants a tree at a TreesDavidson event.

by Dave Cable

Trees improve our health and quality of life, water and air quality, and are critical to local wildlife. Comprehensive care for our tree canopy requires orchestration of four important programs, all of which are underway in Davidson thanks to strong community support and leadership by Town Commissioners, Mayor Rusty, the Town staff, and engaged volunteers. We have come a long way in a short couple years to preserve and enhance our trees.

  1. Effective Street Tree Program. Street trees are located in the public road right-of-way and generally lie between the curb and the sidewalk. In 2019, Bartlett Tree Experts updated our street tree inventory to include 1,750 street trees in the village area. As is typical for North Carolina communities, Davidson’s street trees are the Town’s responsibility.
    Street trees stand at the front line of providing us with beauty, storm water mitigation and shade to cool our streets and parking lots. Urban forestry is the intersection of urban trees and people; we enjoy our street trees as we walk, drive, breathe, and enjoy Davidson.
    For the first time, a management plan is under development to proactively manage these community gems. Longer term, the street tree inventory’s coverage will be expanded to include more of the Town’s footprint.
    The Town recently received a $10,000 grant from the NC Forest Service to expand the street tree inventory which will likely include trees along Concord Road east of the village, St Albans, West Davidson, and possibly parts of River Run.
  2. New and Improved Tree Ordinance. Our tree ordinance was recently overhauled to strengthen our tree save and planting requirements and to widen required planting strips to accommodate bigger trees. The ordinance enhancements were based on an updated aerial analysis of our canopy and will help ensure that we expand our tree canopy and not deplete the forest. The ordinance also recognizes the vital role of a town arborist as an educator and implementer of the ordinance.
  3. Community Engagement, Education, and Tree Planting. We all have a responsibility to properly care for trees given their public benefits. Why? More than 90% of our community’s trees are located on private property.  Fortunately, we have TreesDavidson, a conservation program of Davidson Lands Conservancy, as a community partner dedicated to education about tree care and committed to engaging residents in volunteer tree planting events across Davidson. Building on the more than 500 trees planted by TreesDavidson, several exciting tree planting events are planned including Davidson Rotary’s project along Jackson Street, memorial trees at Fisher Farm, and reforestation behind the Davidson K-8 School. Stay tuned to TreesDavidson at

We have an extraordinary tree canopy.  Preserving it calls for each of us to take personal responsibility and pay it forward.  Preserving our trees is a core community value – it’s what we do here in Davidson.  Future generations will thank us for our efforts.

What you can do:

  • Care for your trees – they will pay you big dividends
  • If you have Ash trees, have them treated for emerald ash borer. Arborist Pete can help.
  • Support TreesDavidson by giving of your time or money, or by suggesting tree planting locations.
  • Follow the arborist’s golden rule: “Right tree, right place”.