17 trees planted in Guilford

By Rachael Scarborough King
Nov. 16, 2007

GUILFORD — The downtown Green and surrounding areas got a little greener this week as workers planted 17 trees in a townwide effort.

The Guilford Garden Club initiated the program, dubbed “The Greening of Guilford”. Several local businesses purchased trees. The effort, in conjunction with the town, includes care of the trees and new plantings every year for five years.

Lillian Comstock, tree chairwoman of the garden club, said the club funded some of the trees and 10 local businesses donated the rest. Each tree cost $400, which included the planting fee.

“The board (of the garden club) agreed to the planting of four new trees to kick off this program,” Comstock said. “In order to augment the number of trees our club could plant, I thought of asking businesses and organizations in town to join us in a joint effort.”

Nicholas Vallas, a certified arborist with The Care of Trees in Hamden, oversaw the plantings Monday and Tuesday. He said that he planted several different varieties of trees, from ornamentals to ones that could eventually reach 60 feet tall. The three trees in the northern part of the Green are a mountain silver beech, a red maple and a Pepperidge tree.

“We’re trying to establish trees and still keep open space (on the Green),” Vallas said. “Trees do provide many benefits.”

In addition to the three on the Green, other trees were planted on nearby Union, River and Whitfield streets. The town’s tree warden, Leslie Kane, selected the specific sites.

Comstock said she first brought the idea to other garden club members last spring.

“The inspiration was reading about towns and cities across the country who are planting trees because of a greater awareness of serious global and environmental issues,” she said. “We felt that a tree-planting program would benefit all of us — trees clean the air, absorb carbon dioxide and provide shade during the hot summer months.”

Vallas said installing each tree took a few hours. The trees range from 8 to 15 feet in height.

“The fall’s actually a good time of the year for many trees because the first really hard season for a tree is the summer, so by planting it in the fall we have three seasons before it hits its hard season,” Vallas said.

He added that his firm will begin inspecting the trees on a monthly basis in the spring and will increase their visits to twice a month in the summer. Trees usually “go dormant” in the winter, he said, so they don’t need as much care during those months.

Comstock said the garden club’s contribution to the tree planting was funded by the group’s annual fund-raiser, the Joys of Christmas Boutique. This year, the boutique, at which residents can buy wreaths and holiday gifts, will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 30 at St. George Church in Guilford.

The businesses that donated trees, she said, were Wilber & King Nurseries, Hawley Lincoln Funeral Home, Leisure Markets Travel, Land Rover of Guilford, Guilford Savings Bank, Ram Technologies, New Alliance Bank, the Guilford Rotary Club, Wal-Mart and Palumbo’s Automotive Unlimited. The garden club plans to continue the initiative next year and invite more companies to donate trees.

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