This week will kick off citywide tree planting in Cortland.
One spot in the city is designated an Arbor Day planting area — south Church Street.
Two weeks ago, spruce trees were removed from the street’s median. About 20 concolor firs will take their place, said Mike Dexter, chairman of the City of Cortland Landscape and Design Commission.
Friday marked Arbor Day and with it more than 600,000 trees were planted across the state, according to the governor’s office.
“Trees are one of New York’s most valuable resources, significantly impacting our environment, economy, and quality of life,” said state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos in a news release. “Trees help improve air quality, provide habitat for wildlife, reduce energy consumption, and beautify the landscape.”
Brian Horner, left, a city Department of Public Works employee, and Jim Maloney, a National Grid arborist, plant trees Tuesday morning along Pendleton Street in Cortland.
Dexter said the city of Cortland will begin this week planting dozens of trees. “Seventy trees as part of the city tree growing program,” he said.
The city works annually with around $40,000 for tree planting and maintenance efforts. It’s one of the things that helps qualify the municipality as a Tree City USA.
Other requirements for the Tree City USA title include:
• Maintaining a tree committee, the city’s Landscape and Design Commission.
• Spending $2 per resident on tree programs.
Dexter sais 2019 marks the 12th year Cortland has made the list of Tree City USA.
However, Dexter said tree efforts have been going on longer, for more than 20 years.
Arbor Day, established in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska, is a nationally celebrated observance that promotes tree planting and tree care.
The day was established to encourage farmers and homesteaders to plant trees to provide shade, shelter, food, fuel and beauty to open areas.