South Orange to Purchase and Plant 110 New Trees this Fall

by Village of South Orange
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From the Village of South Orange

Members of the South Orange Environmental Commission’s Shade Tree group have partnered with Village government, the Department of Public Works, and the NJ Tree Foundation to put together a program to purchase and plant 110 new trees for South Orange streets in all neighborhoods. The unusual Autumn planting is scheduled to happen in mid-November rather than Spring when most trees are planted.

“This is the next step in our plan to establish a regular rhythm of planting in both Spring and Fall to make up for the losses in our overall tree population over the last several years. We then want to go beyond just replacing loss each year to maximize potential locations for our urban forest of municipal street and park trees” said Environmental Commissioner, David Kraiker.

Street trees are planted by the Village within the area immediately parallel to the street known as the Right of Way. Most often this area looks like the grassy area between the curb and sidewalk, but the Right of Way exists even if there is no sidewalk. Because the Right of Way is shared with street signs, traffic signs, streetlights, and various underground utilities, not all seemingly open strips of grass are ideal for an eventual full-size tree. The Shade Tree group has been developing the Village’s tree inventory database to reflect as many ideal locations as possible for successive planting seasons when more budget money becomes available. Environmental Commissioner and professional garden designer, Barbara Bour shed light on the need. “Over the past few years, we have lost a great many trees to storms and specifically Emerald Ash Borer. The Shade Tree subcommittee of the SOEC has been developing a plan to restore and improve our urban forest by planting a greater variety of species, planting more often, in more locations, and in the right locations for success.”

In addition to providing shade and beauty throughout town each street tree will also provide ongoing benefits in storm water retention and filtration, ambient temperature moderation, carbon sequestration, and oxygen creation, as well as improving overall property values. Privately owned trees help too, so if you would like a beautiful way to help fight climate change by planting a tree on your own property, check out the SOEC&GT blog entitled “Private Property Trees, A Homeowner’s Guide” which helps homeowners choose the right trees (size, species, etc.) for their spaces and provides information on how to plant and care for them. Copies are available for free at the SOPL or can be picked up upon request.

For more information on the South Orange Environmental Commission and Green Team visit Facebook or Instagram @sogreenteam or https://sogreenteam.wordpress.com/

A direct link to the Homeowner’s guide can be found here.

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