The young ash tree at 13 McHarrie St. represents Baldwinsville's commitment to trees.
The tree was planted on the morning of April 25 in recognition of Arbor Day and Baldwinsville's being honored with the designation of Tree City USA. With 22 consecutive years, the village of Baldwinsville is the oldest continuous Tree City USA in Central New York, with the village of North Syracuse being the closest and trailing by a few years.
"Baldwinsville has demonstrated a commitment to trees," said John Graham, a forester from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. "This is a prestigious honor that the Arbor Foundation bestows upon communities that are making an effort. There are only 96 communities in the state that received this honor."
Graham presented the village with the ash tree and a Tree City USA Flag to display. He said the branching pattern of the ash tree (as well as the maple tree) is unique because the branches are all formed in pairs.
Village Highway Foreman Mace Markham said being named Tree City USA is more than just planting trees. The responsibilities include maintenance of trees, trimming branches, spending a certain monetary amount to qualify and removal of old trees that have peaked to their expectation. One way the village exemplifies its dedication to trees is through sidewalk repairs. If a tree root has cracked a sidewalk, the village will not shave the root of the tree. Instead, the sidewalk will be built around the tree, then, should the tree die, the sidewalk will be straightened out at a cost to the village.
Markham added that the village chose to plant an ash tree because this type of tree survives well with highway salts used during the winter.
The Tree City USA honor comes from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Norma Goodman of PACB-TV interviewed Graham during the presentation. Check the PACB TV schedule inside this edition for 2008 Arbor and Earth days in Baldwinsville or visit pacbtv.org.