Greenfield Tree Committee continues fall plantings

  • Students in Lexi Silk’s second-grade class at Newton School line up in tree poses, representing where three trees will be planted in a row next to the basketball courts on Saturday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Students in Lexi Silk’s second-grade class at Newton School line up in tree poses, representing where a row of shade trees will be planted along the street side of the playground on Saturday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Students in Lexi Silk’s second-grade class at Newton School line up in tree poses, representing where two trees will be planted next to the mobile classroom. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Report
Published: 9/29/2021 4:23:03 PM

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Tree Committee will lead a tree planting event at Newton School on Saturday, Oct. 2.

During the event, which is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon, community members are invited to help plant 16 native trees that will provide shade for students while they play and learn.

“What started out as a request to the city to replace one beloved tree that had to be cut down ended up being a much more comprehensive look by the Greenfield Tree Committee at the need for shade trees around the school grounds,” said Newton School Principal Melodie Goodwin said in a press release. “I’m so pleased the Greenfield Tree Committee and the community will combine efforts to provide our school and students more shade and beauty.”

Following a short tree planting demonstration at 8:30 a.m. near the Newton School basketball court, volunteers will spread out to plant trees while practicing social distancing.

Throughout Greenfield, the Department of Public Works continues to plant trees along streets and in public spaces.

“This fall’s focus area is primarily in the section of the city north of Silver Street and south of Bungalow and Wildwood avenues,” said Mike Duclos, DPW assistant field superintendent. “The DPW will be filling existing tree requests received from residents in that area and will be seeking other planting locations in tree belts and in willing property owners’ front yards. Residents in this area should be on the lookout for information provided by the DPW on door knockers in the coming weeks.”

Greenfield Tree Committee member Mary Chicoine said public trees in that area of Greenfield were recently mapped and inventoried by the committee, with help from University of Massachusetts intern Eli Griogrian.

“The public tree population in this area is overwhelmingly comprised of Norway maples,” she said. “In fact, two-thirds are Norway maples while the rest of the trees inventoried are other maple species and a small number of other tree species.”

Having a tree population that isn’t diverse can “spell trouble if a pathogen targets them,” Chicoine explained.

The fall tree planting effort will concentrate on improving diversity of the tree species while focusing primarily on native trees, which are shown to better support native birds, pollinators and other wildlife.

“Some of the native tree species we selected include black birch, honey locust, American linden and several species of oaks,” fellow Greenfield Tree Committee member Richard Brown said.

Tree Warden Paul Newell, who is also an assistant field superintendent, said that in addition to focusing on neighborhoods, the DPW will plant about 20 shade trees at the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area, on the south side of the river.

“It’s important to make sure there are younger trees coming up to provide age diversity and replace old trees as they die out in the future,” he said.

Trees planted in Greenfield’s public spaces by the Greenfield DPW Forestry Division and by the Greenfield Tree Committee are being funded by a U.S. Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration Program competitive grant in partnership with state Department of Conservation and Recreation and administered by the Franklin Land Trust, and by Kostanski Funeral Home’s Memorial Tree Program.


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