Volunteers planting trees near Ellsworth City Hall last fall. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN FILE PHOTO

Ellsworth receives Tree City designation for Arbor Week

ELLSWORTH — On Monday, May 16, the city of Ellsworth was recognized by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service with a 2021 Tree City USA designation and award. At a ceremony marking Maine Arbor Week 2022 (the third week in May) at Augusta’s Viles Arboretum, Tabatha White, who has been leading Green Ellsworth’s re-treeing effort, accepted the honor from Department Commissioner Amanda Beal and State Forester Patty Cormier.

A number of projects and partners led to the Tree City USA award. The spring 2021 refurbishment of the City Hall parking area was led by Ellsworth Garden Club member Ruth Foster, with support from the city of Ellsworth and many local businesses and individuals who donated over $16,000 towards the project. The fall 2021 pilot planting of trees on High Street also involved a partnership involving the city of Ellsworth Public Works crew, the Ellsworth Garden Club and Green Ellsworth. Funding for the planting was made possible through a Project Canopy Grant from the Maine Forest Service.

Also, in the fall of 2021, Frenchman Bay Conservancy partnered with the Ellsworth Garden Club and Green Ellsworth to break ground on a community tree nursery at its Jordan Homestead Preserve. Soil preparation and fencing were erected in anticipation of the planting of the first 80 trees this spring. That planting will begin on May 20 when second-grade students and teachers from the Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School will plant the first 20 trees at the nursery. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. that day as well as 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on May 21, the general public is invited to join in planting the remaining 60 trees.

The nursery provides a low-cost and environmentally friendly approach to increase Ellsworth’s canopy coverage along its streets and in its public green spaces. Smaller trees can be purchased at lower prices and grown on by volunteers who simultaneously learn arbor care skills they can put to use on their own properties. Trees will be grown on until they are large enough to survive in tougher street tree locations, but they will have adapted to the local climate and growing conditions so they will stand a better chance of success.

Anyone interested in helping with Ellsworth’s Arbor Week tree plantings at the community nursery is encouraged to reserve their tree planting slot in advance. Green Ellsworth also welcomes donations or contributions of volunteer time in support of the broader tree planting planning and goal setting.

To reserve and/or contribute to re-treeing, call 667-8878 or email Mary Blackstone at [email protected].


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