City leaders celebrated Concord’s Arbor Day by planting trees at Les Myers Park. This year, Mayor Bill Dusch and City Manager Lloyd Payne commemorated the occasion by planting a Shumard Oak and a Star Magnolia.
Students and staff at W.R. Odell Elementary School purchased the Star Magnolia through the city’s Memorial Tree Program. City Manager Payne visited students at the school earlier this year where they asked about efforts to protect the tree canopy during so much growth and development across the city. While the city’s Buildings and Grounds Department maintains a 2:1 goal of planting two new trees for every tree removed, Payne said residents can help reduce the loss of tree canopy through the Memorial Tree Program.
The Memorial Tree Program allows residents to purchase and donate a tree in honor of a loved one or commemorative event. Memorial Trees can be purchased year-round; however, the city plants the trees November-February as this is the optimal tree planting season for the Southeast United States. This planting season is why Concord’s Arbor Day is celebrated in the fall, traditionally on the last Friday of October.
Concord’s Arborist, Bill Leake, joined the Mayor and City Manager at the Arbor Day event. He encouraged all residents to consider planting a tree this winter.
“Everyone can help offset the loss of tree canopy by planting new trees in the right place and encouraging preservation of mature urban forests,” said Leake. “Planting the right tree in the right place gives it the best chance of survival and the best chance for our community to reap its many benefits.”
Leake also provided residents with proper planting, care and maintenance tips to help ensure tree growth and survival at the recent Energy Saving Trees event. In partnership with All Saints Episcopal Church, the Arbor Day Foundation, and Carolina Power Partners, the City of Concord gave away 300 free trees to homeowners. If all 300 trees are planted and survive, the cumulative 5-year benefit to the community is 63,549 kWh in energy savings, 86,542 pounds of carbon sequestered, 173,107 gallons of stormwater runoff captured, and 138 pounds of pollutants filtered from the air.
The tree giveaway and tree planting events were also held in honor of Concord earning the Tree City USA designation for the fourth consecutive year.