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B'ville named Tree City USA

For 23 consecutive years, Baldwinsville has been given the distinction of being named a Tree City USA.

To commemorate the honor, officials planted a sugar maple tree at 19 E. Oneida St. on Arbor Day, which was celebrated last Friday.

Baldwinsville is one of the oldest Tree Cities in the state and with less than 100 municipalities across the state recognized as Tree Cities, it is quite a tribute to the village.

"To have us as one of the oldest is really impressive," said Maysel Markham, the foreman of Baldwinsville's Department of Public Works.

Markham said the criteria for becoming a Tree City USA isn't just planting trees, it's taking trees down and trimming them for health reasons.

"It's very important for public beautification and public health to keep our trees healthy," Markham said.

Speaking of keeping trees healthy and safe, officials chose to plant the tree at 19 E. Oneida St. because of a diseased and weak tree that is currently growing at the residence.

"The homeowner was very adamant about keeping the [diseased] tree," Markham said. "He even offered to pay for trimming."

Despite homeowner Dale Hendrick's opposition to removing the enormous Sugar Maple, the tree will eventually need to be taken down.

"We know we'll have to take the tree down in a few years, but we're putting in a new one to replace it," Markham said.

While presenting the new tree, Markham noted the placement of the mulch around the base and warned against the practice of volcano mulching, which is creating a pile of mulch around the trunk of the tree.

"[Volcano mulching] is very hazardous to good tree growth. It doesn't allow air to get to the tree," he said.

John Graham, a forester with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, echoed his sentiments.

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