Shade trees and urban forestry are vital parts of livable and sustainable communities. Arbor Day is a nationally recognized day for promoting the value of trees. It is celebrated in communities throughout the country, supported by the Arbor Day Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to tree conservation efforts and to inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program has been “greening up” cities and towns throughout America since 1976. Lewisburg is proud to be a Tree City USA community and annually meets the four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.
Rain or shine, Lewisburg’s 2019 Arbor Day ceremony is scheduled to start at noon near the North 5th & St. Mary Street planting sites with a brief history of Arbor Day. DCNR Service Forester Jeff Osborne will present recognition flags to the Borough of Lewisburg and to Citizens’ Electric Co. for their commitment to the four standards of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA and Tree Line USA programs. This is Lewisburg’s 34th year as a Tree City USA community and Citizens’ Electric’s 17th year as a Tree Line USA utility.
Refreshments will include arboreally-themed items such as tree tea!
As part of the Borough of Lewisburg’s 2019 Arbor Day celebration, and in cooperation with the Lewisburg Borough, the Lewisburg Shade Tree Commission and volunteers planted a Quercus Rubra (Red Oak), several each of Syringa ret. ‘Ivory Silk’ (Tree Lilac), Malus ‘Red Jewel’ (Crabapple) and Prunus sargentii ‘Columnaris’ (Sargent Cherry) along North 5th Street between St. John and St. Anthony Streets in Lewisburg, PA. These are a mix of large and medium-sized trees that showcase the variety of great trees people can choose to meet the need to have shade trees on every property. The crabapple, tree lilac, and cherry are all delightful in the spring with showy flowers, while the red oak can reach a majestic 75 feet in height at full maturity. In addition, the red oak is able to cope with poor and compacted soils while still growing up to two feet per year. The location of the newly planted trees will hopefully spur more urban forestry along borough-owned buildings.
Mayor Judith Wagner will read the Arbor Day Proclamation that urges all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations. This will be her 15th participation in Arbor Day celebrations! Afterward, local tree experts, Bucknell Biology Professor Mark Spiro and landscape gardener Brian Gockley, both Lewisburg Shade Tree Commissioners, will lead a guided tour walk which will explore the diversity of tree species in the Borough. Gockley brings an affable enthusiasm to tree lore as well as years of experience as a shade tree commissioner. Jordi Comas, fellow shade tree commissioner describes him as “a planter of tall trees and teller of taller tales.” Spiro, also an experienced commissioner, is a professor of biology at Bucknell University where he specializes in plant biology. He was instrumental in Bucknell’s “Campus Arboretum” program which includes a stellar walking tour of 73 species of trees on the campus. The Bucknell Arboretum Walking Tour is also online.
All are welcome to attend the ceremony and join the guided tree walk. Wear comfortable walking shoes!
Lewisburg Borough Councilmember, 2nd ward
Lewisburg Shade Tree Commission
Lewisburg Shade Tree Commission Chair,