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Village wins Tree City USA designation for 14th time

East Aurora has again made its mark in the world of trees.

Officials just learned the village was designated a Tree City USA for the 14th consecutive year.

And the village's ongoing ambition to add to its tree stock and keep its existing trees healthy shows no sign of stopping.

"Everyone tells you that people who visit here often remark about the beauty of our trees and tree-lined streets," said Nancy Johnson, chairwoman of the village Tree Board.

New this year is a Tree Board initiative that focuses on pruning trees. The big push is to prune the trees planted along Main Street two years ago by the state, when Main Street was reconstructed.

"A lot of trees, when they are young, need to be corrected for form," Johnson said. "We're hoping to do 100 trees. We'll have to see how far the money goes."

The state planted more than 100 trees of at least 10 different varieties stretching from East Main Street to the U.S. Post Office at the Route 20A entrance to the village.

The village hopes to prune 100 trees in the first year of the pilot program and has set aside $10,000 this year.

"The Village Board determined last year that maintenance trimming and pruning of existing trees is worth a moderate investment," said Trustee Randy West, the village's liaison to the Tree Board. "It's best done for young trees. If you blow all the money on two or three old trees, you get little return for it because they rarely recover."

Once the Main Street trees are addressed, the village plans to tackle the pruning of younger trees on side streets.

At the same time, the village is beginning to ramp up for its annual spring tree planting program to add to the 3,325 trees throughout the village in public rights of way. Next spring, the effort will focus on the northwest quadrant of the village -- west of Maple Street and north of Main Street.

The Tree Board, following a street tree inventory done by an urban forestry consultant for the village more than 10 years ago, recommended specific trees.

"Now, we send letters out to residents who we know have an open planting site in their open right of way," Johnson said. "It's kind of first come, first served."

The village has planted as many as 100 new trees in a year but typically plants between 20 and 43 trees each spring.

"We never know how many people are going to respond," Johnson said.

Letters were mailed to residents just before Christmas. Those interested in a new tree in their village right of way are encouraged to contact the Tree Board via email at treespleaseEA@yahoo.com or to call Village Hall at 652-6000. Plantings usually begin in April, weather permitting.

email: krobinson@buffnews.com

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