NEWBURYPORT – One of the finishing touches to a multi-year project replacing sidewalks and curbing along Green Street is wrapping up this week, with 27 new trees going into the ground.

Jane Niebling, a member of the city's Tree Commission, was on the scene Tuesday to watch a crew from Szczechowicz Landscaping in Rowley dig up dirt from the rectangular openings left in the new brick sidewalks, especially for planting new street trees. The trees are going in along Green Street with a few on Washington and High streets. 

Niebling said most of the trees are Princeton American elms, a hybrid shade tree that is resistant to Dutch elm disease, which in the early 20th century, killed off millions of mature shade trees lining many American streets.

Niebling said the Tree Commission had worked for six years on funding for the new trees, paid for by a $40,000 Community Preservation Committee grant that includes two years of tree care, to ensure the trees thrive. She said the Green Street work is part of a larger "gateway street" initiative by the Tree Commission to improve significant gateways of Newburyport. 

The tree planting is expected to take three or four days. 

Richard K. Lodge can be contacted by email at Follow him on Twitter @RichardLodge_DN.

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