Parks department gives out 500 trees

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By Anna Skinner

Those wanting to spruce up their yard for spring but not wanting to pay the price of trees will have an opportunity to receive different assortments of trees from the Westfield Parks Dept. April 23.

This will be the department’s 10th year celebrating Arbor Day by giving away tree seedlings. Westfield has been marked as a Tree City for the ninth year in a row.

Five hundred seedlings will be available in five different types of trees: bur oak, Norway spruce, flowering dogwood, Ohio buckeye and river birch.

“We have people who have planted these at their business, homes, pretty much anywhere,” said Brittany Goger, recreation program coordinator for the Westfield Parks Dept. “We want to encourage the community just to come together and continue to beautify Westfield. It’s just a way to really create a sense in the community of coming together and seeing the city grow. There is civilization by planting trees, for families to do that sort of thing, it leaves a mark in the community.”

The tree giveaway begins at 9 a.m. at Asa Bales Park Shelter No. 1 and could go as late as noon, but Goger said last year the supplies ran out in the first 20 minutes.

At 1 p.m. the same day, a Tree of Hope\ ceremony will be held at Simon Moon Park. The event is through Hamilton Co. Tourism and is in part with the bicentennial celebration. Eagle Scout Nick Svendsen will be planting a tulip poplar tree in the park.

For more, visit enjoywestfieldevents.com.

ABOUT THE TREES

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Bur Oak: The bur oak, once grown, is considered a shade tree and because of the mass, is often better for parks and those with expansive yards. It has a coarse crown, textured bark and acorns.

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Norway Spruce: The Norway Spruce’s dense branches are a great option for a windbreaker, and it originates from Europe. Although the tree comes from a separate nation, it is widely popular in the U.S. It can grow up to 60 feet high and does well in full exposure sun.

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River Birch: This birch usually grows along riverbanks, though can be planted most places in the U.S. as a landscape tree. Works well with keeping erosion in check and is a great option for a shade tree. Requires direct sunlight for four hours a day.

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Flowering Dogwood: This tree is a good landscape choice, as it flowers in the spring, foliage becomes a red-purple color in the fall, and berries attract winter songbirds during colder months. This tree works well planted next to utility lines, patios or large buildings.

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Ohio Buckeye: This tree has a round canopy of leaves once grown and gray bark. The Ohio buckeye does have an odor when damaged and drops fruits and leaves. Squirrels are attracted to the tree’s seeds and hummingbirds are attracted to the tree’s flowers.

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