Shade Tree Committee

Meets on the First Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.
in Village Council Chambers
4650 High Street, Mantua, OH 44255

Committee Members

Cookie Vanek, Chair (Citizen Member)Term expires 12/31/2024
Nina Schroeder, Secretary (Citizen Member)Term expires 12/31/2026
Marty Hura (Council Member)Term expires 12/31/2025
Chuck Peterson (Parks Board Rep)Term expires 12/31/2024
Don Buchert (Citizen Member)Term expires 12/31/2025

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Tree Commission to develop, administer and maintain a written plan to be known as the Master Tree Plan.

  2. The Tree Commission, when requested by Council, shall consider, investigate, make finding, report and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the scope of its work. The Tree Commission shall study the problems and determine the needs of the Village in connection with its tree planting program.

  3. The Tree Commission shall recommend to the Village Administer the type and kind of trees to be planted upon such Village Streets or parts of Village streets or in parks or cemeteries as designated.

  4. The Tree Commission shall assist the Village Administrator, as well as the Council and citizens of the Municipality in the dissemination of news and information regarding the selection, planting and maintenance of trees within the corporate limits, whether the same be on private or public property and to make such recommendations from time to time to Council as the desirable legislation concerning tree planting program and activities for the Municipality. The Tree Commission shall work in conjunction with civic and public interest groups devoted to tree care and preservation.

  5. The Tree Commission shall convene Regular and Special Meetings at which the subject of trees, insofar as it relates to the Municipality may be discussed by members of the Tree Commission, Officers and Personnel of the Village and its several divisions and all others interested in the tree program.

  6. The Tree Commission shall have the authority to investigate and recommend "Reasonable Conditions" to the granting of a permit in accordance with the terms of this chapter.
Mantua Codified Ordinances section 147.06

Shade Tree Committee Meeting Minutes

Click to see the press release!

Mantua = Tree City Once Again in '23

Mantua has long been committed to maintain our "urban forest" of healthy trees within our village. We've recently been recognized as a "Tree City USA" by the Arbor Foundation for our efforts.

While it might be a stretch to call our tree cover an "urban forest", we are proud of the large tree canopy in Mantua. For many years, we have maintaned the 4 Standards required in order to be considered a Tree City USA:

  • Our Shade Tree Committee was organized to form a plan for effective tree management in the village;
  • Our tree care ordinance (Codified Ordinance 147) was created to provide guidance in tree management;
  • Our service department spends at least $2 per capita annually on planting, care and removal of trees;
  • The Shade Tree Committee is involved in our annual Arbor Day celebration in cooperation with Crestwood schools.

We welcome questions, comments, and kudos from the community on our efforts, and are always looking for more volunteers to assist in the work of managing our village treescape!

Invasive Species: The Jekyll and Hyde of Ecology!

Steve Thorn attended a Portage County Soil and Water Conservation District program on Invasive Species at Camp Asbury and Garrettsville's Eagle Creek. Hugely informative, it cemented in his mind the need to educate people about the host of negative impacts that invasives have in Ohio and close to home.

"Non-native" is not the same as "invasive." To qualify as an invasive plant, this is the criteria:

  1. The species is not native to the area.
  2. It adapts to its new environment quickly.
  3. It reproduces quickly.
  4. It harms property, the economy, native plants, and/or animals.

Invasives harm the integrity of ecosystems, causing both environmental and economic degradation.

Invasive phragmites (common reed) is a tall, perennial grass that aggressively colonizes, forming dense stands within freshwater wetlands, along shorelines, and in roadside ditches, among other places.

Common reed...

  • outcompetes other plants,
  • displaces wildlife,
  • obstructs views,
  • increases fire risks, and
  • decreases property values.

    Sadly, this local invader is widespread.

  • Invasives limit land use and disrupt hunting, fishing, watching, and foraging. Aquatic plants like water hyacinth and common reed can overtake a lake, making activities like boating or swimming impossible.

    Invasives damage agricultural and forestry industries. Invasives destabilize soil and increase the cost of infestation management. They endanger almost half of the native species in the United States, and they displace natives by competing for available light, water, and nutrients.

    They morph and damage water resources by reducing the diversity and abundance of existing species - and this impacts water quality. Knotweed decreases the flow of streams and rivers, thereby contributing to flooding and erosion.

    Invasive Alliaria petiolate (garlic mustard) is a biennial herb and relentlessly invades floodplains, woodlands, pastures, lawns, fencerows, and roadsides, and it is currently considered the most invasive plant species in Ohio.

    Garlic mustard...

  • deprives and displaces native species,
  • steals light, water, and soil nutrients,
  • outcompetes wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and
  • overpowers fungi.

    Luckily, this invasive is easy to identify and remove. Most of this Hyde-like plant is edible, too!

  • Invasives are very costly to control, especially once the flora is well-rooted and established.

    Identifying invasives and removing them early are critical.

    Because waterways are primary mechanisms for the disbursement of invasive seeds, we must be diligent about separating invasives from our river, streams, and wetlands.

    In 2023, Ohio illegalized the sale, planting, propagation, and dissemination of 63 invasive plant species, as defined by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

    So, while most of us aren't in the business of propagating or selling invasive plants, public identification is still critical to avoiding (a) worsening the problem and (b) risking legal consequences.

    Here are some ways you can help to fight the Mr. Hydes of Ohio flora:

  • Ask your nursery and/or refer to this list when you shop.
  • Identify and remove the invasives you find on your property. Arm yourself with pictures; a brochure is available from the Portage SWCD or many places online, or use Google Lens to identify plants you don't recognize.
  • Educate yourself. Portage SWCD periodically hosts events (see Eventbrite) on identifying and removing invasive species. These are super informative programs conducted by experts.
  • Participate in a public removal event, like one put on by Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park; gain first-hand knowledge - then apply it to your own community, property, and neighborhood.
  • Let someone on the Shade Tree Committee know that you are interested in an educational session, need help identifying invasives, are looking for great replacements, or want to conduct a removal event.