Spring has sprung, and this is a great time of year to take a stroll in the shade of Fukuoka’s tree-lined streets. Technically, the trees planted along public roads are considered “road appendages” installed by the road administrator authority. For this reason, as with traffic signals and guard rails, they help to keep public roads safe.
Naturally, roadside trees maintain safety by creating a barrier between pedestrians and vehicles, but they perform many other functions as well. Trees reduce road noise and dust, absorb emissions, and provide shade on hot days. They also play a role in conserving the natural environment by providing homes for birds and insects. What’s more, in the event of a fire, roadside trees have been shown to slow the spread of flames.
The main types of roadside trees in the city are zelkova, cherry, ginkgo, woodland elaeocarpus, Kurogane holly and camphor. In addition to the 50,000 large trees planted along the city’s streets, there are also low-lying shrubs like azalea, so the Fukuoka is truly full of vegetation. Because they are living things, naturally, these roadside trees and shrubs need tender loving care. This is why experts conduct daily patrols to check on the trees and shrubs and take action when necessary.
The general public can also get involved in maintaining public roadside trees. One way to do this is through cleanup efforts, which are especially necessary in the fall and winter when deciduous trees lose their leaves. Fukuoka City also runs the “One Citizen One Flower” flower bed initiative that seeks to beautify the city by getting the citizens involved in planting and caring for flowers and greenery. There are also volunteer groups that receive subsidies from City Hall to plant flowers along pedestrian paths and other designated zones.