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Published: April 30, 2013
UNIVERSITY HTS. The four trees the city planted on Arbor Day were just the start of a plan to beautify area streets.
The white blossoms on the Cleveland Select Pear trees looked beautiful against a bright blue sky April 26 when fourth-graders from Gesu Catholic School and children from Yabi Nursery and Child Care gathered next to city hall for the Arbor Day ceremony. The Gesu students recited a chant, then joined Arborist Tom Morgan in reading Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “Trees.”
Students took turns helping Morgan and Mayor Susan Infeld plant the trees, two on either side of Silsby Road in front of the building department. Morgan explained that the ornamental pear is considered a “three-season” plant, and must be planted in the spring.
“They have beautiful flowers in the spring, dark green, glossy leaves in the summer, and they are known for their fall colors,” he said. “They have fruit the size of a crab-apple, but the squirrels and birds eat them before they fall.”
It was not such a sunny day when Morgan and city workers went to the Davey Tree nursery in Wooster, Ohio to pick out the trees. They arrived to a huge flash of lightning and pouring rain.
“We were not going home after driving all that way, so we tagged the trees in the rain,” he said. “The storm blew over.”
Morgan was looking for about 150 of the pear trees that day. Most will be planted along Washington Boulevard from Cedar Road to Silsby. That stretch of the street is also scheduled to be re-paved this year.
“There will be a lot of flowering trees supplementing what is already there,” Infeld said. “I’m excited about it. It will make a pretty corridor, and I think people will like it.”
She plans to continue the pattern, hopefully planting more of the trees next year on the eastern part of Washington.
The Arbor Day observance is one of four requirements to continue the city’s designation as a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. The others are having a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, and an annual forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, she said.
“We are going for our 36th consecutive designation as a Tree City,” Infeld said.