NEWBURYPORT — What does it take to plant a tree in Newburyport? It takes an active Tree Commission, and exceptional coordination with tree warden Andy Laferty of the DPS, a tree nursery and a landscape company. It also takes funds available from the CPA and the willingness of citizens to help watch over new saplings in their neighborhood.
Newburyport’s Green Street Project has all this.
The Green Street Project consists of planting 38 new trees along the street. Once an evenly planted cityscape and exceedingly attractive entrance to Newburyport, Green Street will once again become green.
The current Tree Commission plans to finish this tree planting, three years in the making, by April. Within the next two weeks members of the Tree Commission will go door to door to show neighbors on Green Street the scope of the work and to answer any questions they have about the project.
Thoroughly researched and determined by the commission for their similarity in leaf shape and their variety of size, three tree species were chosen to be plated on Green Street: disease-resistant Valley Forge American elm, alee lacebark elm and Frans Fontaine Hornbeam. Taller trees will be planted on the west side of Green Street and the shorter species will be planted under existing telephone wires on the east side of Green Street.
The Green Street tree project has specific planting guidelines that include backfill, mulch, watering and care of the trees, installation, staking, pruning and seasonal maintenance. The city of Newburyport will dig holes for the trees this spring and a selected tree landscaping company is being contracted to plant the mature (at least 2-inch caliper) saplings. Stately mature elms are well worth waiting for.
Other projects that the Tree Commission has in the works are: an inventory of all city trees, an educational program coordinated with the River Valley Charter School and the ongoing identification of sites for new trees and/or the taking down of hazardous trees.
The Tree Commission also plans to start two projects in the near future — an inventory of historical trees in Newburyport, and the establishment of the “New City Nursery” where tree whips would be planted, eventually providing the city’s own source for trees available to plant in Newburyport.