WINCHESTER – Arbor Day was held on Friday April 28th and the City of Winchester celebrated by inviting the Barrett Tree Service to perform selective pruning work on the existing 75-inch red oak on the borough property. Winchester-based gardener Reed Pugh brought the arborist into town for the project.
Pugh works with people in their gardens to create healthy, sustainable and beautiful spaces. Pugh noted that they were able to donate about $4,000 in services to the city for Arbor Day this year, giving back to the supporting community. This project was also registered by Pugh with the Massachusetts Arborist Association’s Arbor Day of Service initiative.
Barrett Tree Service East, Inc. is a Medford-based full-service tree care provider dedicated to preserving the city’s forest and meeting customer expectations. Three to four certified arborists climbed the tree Friday to remove broken or dead branches 10 to 12 feet above the ground, which will improve the tree’s overall health, explained Bryan Manter, deputy city engineer. All work is done on a voluntary basis and is free of charge for the city. Jim Shattuck was also involved as Winchester Tree Warden.
Arbor Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1872. Nebraska newspaper editor J. Sterling Morton was a strong advocate for individuals and community groups to plant trees. He became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, and on January 4, 1872, at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture, Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday to be named “Arbor Day.”
In addition to activities on April 28, Manter noted that the city traditionally celebrates Arbor Day as part of City Day celebrations in early June. During the past Arbor Days, they will primarily plant a shady tree on a city-owned green space. They have also planted trees in public street tree areas at the request of residential areas.
The city bought the tree from a local nursery, called “Dig Safe” and asked both city employees and volunteers to help plant the tree. The city also receives a certificate prepared and signed by the Select Board. City officials are present and invite the local press/photographers.
Manter also mentioned that at previous Arbor Days they had asked local garden clubs to help plant daffodil bulbs in the city’s many open green spaces. This has been successful as it allows many more people to get involved and make a positive impact on the city. The Public Works Department helped with the needed equipment, tools and supervision.
Ken Pruitt, the city’s sustainability director, noted that trees provide a long list of environmental and human benefits. One benefit is energy savings by shading buildings in summer and reducing wind speeds in winter. Another benefit is that trees help combat climate change as they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, carbon dioxide being the most important greenhouse gas.
Trees also improve overall health as they contribute to improved mental and physical health through sound insulation, improved aesthetics and better air quality. In addition, trees support wildlife as they house a long list of animal and insect species, both for food and shelter, and they reduce flooding as they reduce stormwater runoff and prevent extreme rainfall from eroding the soil. Finally, trees increase real estate values, as tree-heavy neighborhoods lead to higher real estate values.
The Winchester Parish can help by planting trees on their property. According to Manter, the first thing to do would be to call the DPW, who will then email Shattuck and a work order will be started. Shattuck will then inspect the property to see if the site is within city rights of way and there will be a meeting with the local resident to discuss and decide the type of tree to be planted.
They then add each request to a tree planting list and the requests are processed in both spring and fall. DPW stakes out location and dig safe prior to work. Finally, they set a schedule for the work to be done and work with the resident to ensure the tree is watered.
Barrett Tree Service stated, “Thanks to our dedicated staff, close proximity and state-of-the-art equipment, we are uniquely positioned to provide the best possible service to the trees and people of Winchester.” This Arbor Day, we are delighted to offer our services to the legendary Being able to donate Winchester Oak and give back to the community that supports us each season. Happy Arbor Day!”