City Trees Get a Big Boost
Medford joined communities across the country and around the world to celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 29, 2016. “Arbor” means tree, and Arbor Day is a holiday set aside for people to come together to plant and care for trees.
Medford Mayor Stephanie M. Burke heartily welcomed and thanked the volunteer arborists who performed extensive tree work to make Arbor Day a great success. At a gathering of the arborists at Victory Park, Mayor Burke read aloud the official Medford Arbor Day Proclamation for 2016, with cheers and applause from the crowd.
This year, Arbor Day events centered on planting and caring for trees along Forest Street and Lawrence Road, which are two important gateway streets in Medford. In the weeks leading up to Arbor Day, Medford’s Forestry crew worked diligently on pruning damaged trees and removing trees that had failed.
On the day of the event, two expert tree companies, Lawns Plus and Barrett Tree East, arrived early and set to work pruning sidewalk trees. Both companies, which are located in Medford and are members of the Massachusetts Arborists Association, generously donated a “Day of Service”, during which their talented crews pruned over 35 trees. Many of the larger, mature trees were pruned to increase their health and longevity, as well as to improve public safety. Mid-size trees were maintenance-trimmed to improve their structure and appearance, to remove branches that may have interfered with pedestrians, obstructed visibility or were prone to being hit by passing vehicles, and to increase their vigor overall. Young trees were included in the pruning work as well, with some TLC to carefully trim and shape them to encourage proper, healthy new growth.
A highlight of the day was the planting of 15 new sidewalk trees along Forest Street and Lawrence Road, and two planted as replacements of trees previously lost on Riverside Ave. The trees were selected by Tree Warden Aggie Tuden for each individual location following the principles of “Right Tree/Right Place”, with the goal of planting new trees where they will have room to grow and thrive to become beautiful, valuable shade trees. The types of trees planted include elm, three varieties of maple, London planetree and honeylocust. The new trees were properly staked and mulched, and tree-watering bags will soon be installed as well.
Medford places a very high value on our public trees, and was recently awarded “Tree City USA” status, for the 18th consecutive year. The City continues to support our “urban forest”, which helps beautify our streets and neighborhoods, provides environmental benefits for people and wildlife and connects us with nature and the change of seasons. Trees have been shown to increase property values, increase commerce in business districts, help slow traffic, reduce crime and reduce energy costs.
Mayor Burke again extends appreciation to the Forestry Department for their service, to Lawns Plus and Barrett Tree East. We want to thank Kelly’s Roast Beef, who generously supported Arbor Day once again by donating a delicious lunch and refreshments to the workers. “With shared stewardship of our trees with residents, businesses and community groups, Medford will continue to support and celebrate our public trees, not just for Arbor Day but for today and for our community’s future enjoyment and health,” said Mayor Burke.