With hope and the best of intentions

the Village of Ossining is throwing itself a tree-planting party. The new forest of 80 – yes, 80 – native specimens will be the gift that keeps on giving, especially to those members of the community who live in apartments and for whom the parks with the new trees will create a beautiful back yard. New York City’s Central Park was designed by the landscape authority Frederick Olmsted in the nineteenth century to be “the lungs of the city.” That is no less true today in the little Village of Ossining. Trees breathe and help us breathe. It’s especially important for folks who don’t necessarily have those lush, lavish estates that are fairly common in Westchester.

At SavATree, we helped them get the trees into the ground. Matt, the arborist ninja, is capable of walking many miles a day to conduct a tree inventory, taking note of the attributes of every tree along the way, from its DBH (diameter at breast height) to the condition of its crown.

Clients couldn’t be happier; he’s the best. For this project he took three adjoining parks and designed a forest to fit them.

He did this at the behest of Maddi, the Assistant Village Manager of Ossining, ever beaming and optimistic. She organized the effort with some help, both monetary and advisory, from the New York State Department of Conservation.

Did you notice I said 80 trees? Yes, that is ambitious. Matt ventured to Roth Nursery in Armonk to select each one individually (in one trip , of course).

At the start of planting day, there is by necessity some education given about planting ball-and-burlap stock. My colleague George, a forester from DEC, steps up to explain the proper depth of the hole, how high in it the base of the trunk should rest, and the nightmare of girdling roots. We must attack the wires that bind the burlap, he counsels, snipping them apart so the roots will be able to flourish.

George also walks a lot, counseling towns and villages about how to better manage their urban forests. He is able to convince municipal planners who never gave leaves and branches a second thought that a row of strong, healthy trees is exactly what the populace needs.

People show up, including the Village Manager and this woman, who knew an awful lot about how things grow.

The first tree in the ground is a white oak.Then a swamp white oak. Then a honey locust.

Only 77 left to go. The sky gleams blue and at 9am it is a perfect 60 degrees and nothing else matters as we create our own rays of sunshine.

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