When you think of “conservation of trees on public lands,” you probably picture forests in the Ozarks, not the buildings, streets, and sidewalks of North St. Louis County.

But under a Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) Grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation, it doesn’t matter where a tree has put down roots. The cost-share tree care program will assist any community with publicly owned trees—and the 24:1 Community has more than 6,000 of them.

TRIM Grants of $10,000 each awarded recently will pay for the care of trees in three municipalities: Bel-Nor, Pasadena Park, and Pasadena Hills.

Under the program, the state and cities share the cost of tree inventories, planning, tree removal, pruning, planting, and training on how to care for community forests. The state pays 75%; the cities pay 25%.

“Without the Missouri Department of Conservation and this grant, these cities would struggle to do this work,” said Doug Seely, a community forester who works at Beyond Housing.

“Long term, this will lead to better living conditions and better well-being,” Seely said. Trees reduce air pollution both indoors and out, cut home air conditioning and heating bills, and even deter crime. A 10% increase in trees in a neighborhood reduces crime by 12%.

Residents in the three cities may notice crews trimming and removing trees over the winter. Seely said crews plan to finish the work by late spring.