Arbor Day news: Proclamation, Tree City USA status, and reminder of Town’s planting program

Above: The Town has officially declared today Arbor Day, though this year’s tree planting ceremony will have to wait until it’s safe to hold it. (image from Facebook)

Today is Arbor Day in Southborough. For the second year, Southborough has joined other Towns across the country in officially designating this Friday as the annual holiday celebrating trees.*

A tree for the Town’s planting ceremony has been promised by a local nursery. Unfortunately, the ceremony is on indefinite hold until it’s safe for officials to gather. (Though, Town Planner Karina Quinn tells me that Southborough Historical Society president Michael Weishan planted a tree in early March by the Historical Society Museum.)

So, why promote Arbor Day? It’s part of the commitment the Planning Board made before voters passed a tree bylaw last year. It was part of an effort to make Southborough a “Tree City USA”.

The annual public proclamation is just one component. The board also invited the public to help populate the town with more native trees along public ways. So, it’s a good time to remind residents about that program.

The Tree Planting Program invites property owners to plant a native species tree on their own property but within 20 feet of the street/public way. To be included in the program, the tree’s location and species must be coordinated with the Tree Warden.

The property owner will be responsible for the planting plus any needed maintenance or removal. (The Town of Southborough Street Tree Guidelines are available here.)

As some of us are too aware, trees along roadsides can eventually become victims of overzealous pruning by utility companies. To avoid issues like that, hre are some planting tips from the Arbor Day Foundation, the organization behind the Tree City program, plus benefits trees provide. (Click images to enlarge.)

right tree placement benefits of Trees by Arbor Day Foundation

If you sign up for the Town’s program, the Planning Department or Tree Warden will follow up with you to coordinate your participation. To register, click here. You can also make a financial donation to the program for the Tree Warden to coordinate plantings in town.

As for our Tree City USA status – Southborough officially became one this spring.

Quinn announced the news of the impending status at the Planning Board’s March 9th meeting. At that time the application had been approved by the Dept of Conservation. The Arbor Foundation was anticipated to give final approval and issue a certificate at a May 7th meeting. 

The event was cancelled, with new date still TBD. In the meantime, the Town got confirmation that its status is official. (For more information about Tree City USA click on links to the program website and the state’s info sheets.)

*The Arbor Day proclamation signed by the Board of Selectmen promises to:

urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands, and Further, We urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations

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