CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Neighbors in Dilworth are getting their first look at a plan to protect the area's tree canopy.
The trees in Dilworth are as much a part of the neighborhood's historic fabric as the homes themselves. Drive around and you can't help but notice the beauty and how much cooler it is on a hot day.
"They say a tree will reduce it by as much as 30 degrees," said neighbor Debra Glennon, who is also on Dilworth’s environmental committee.
One of Glennon's passions is protecting Dilworth's tree canopy.
"These trees have been here as long as the houses and they're an important part of making the neighborhood an inviting place to live," she said.
Glennon has been instrumental in developing a new plan to deal with Dilworth's old, diseased or storm-damaged trees and finding their replacements.
It's still in the preliminary phase, but the goal, in a nutshell, is making sure the right tree goes in the right spot.
"These trees take a really long time to grow. ... The point of trying to do a planning document is that it's going to take 50 years for those trees to get as big as the ones behind us," said Glennon.
The plan comes with criteria like what type of tree, where, how wide the planting strip is and if they're near power lines.
"We don't want to have too many of one type of tree in the neighborhood because if we have all our eggs in one basket and there's a problem like there was with Dutch elm disease up north, then we could lose all our trees," said Don McSween, Charlotte's city arborist.
The city planted more than 200 new trees in Dilworth over the winter and more are coming. Overall, the city has an estimated 160,000 street trees.
Likely, none are nicer than those in Dilworth, with neighbors and the city recognizing the need to keep a good thing going.
"A lot of trees don't do well in Charlotte and don't do well as street trees, so we want to make sure we pick the right ones that will give us this look for decades," Glennon said.
The City of Charlotte annually spends $2.87 per person on street trees and $11.83 per tree.