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September 22, 2018

Tree Program Branches Out In Oswego


OSWEGO, NY – At This week’s Administrative Services Committee meeting councilors gave a favorable recommendation to a plan to restore the Port City’s tree canopy.

Phil MacArthur, Ron Sipling and George Koenig prepare to plant some new trees on Tuesday.

Phil MacArthur, Ron Sipling and George Koenig prepare to plant some new trees on Tuesday.

Phil MacArthur from the Tree Advisory Board requested authorization to accept a donation of 100 trees, purchased under an ORA grant, to be planted by the Tree Stewards organization.

“This is part of an experiment suggested a year ago, to try buying small cheap trees and see how well they grow,” MacAuthur said. “So, we’re going along, filling in vacant spaces along the parks. These (trees) are all whips about two to four feet tall.”

“It is a younger tree and if they are properly cared for and maintained, in a couple three years, they’re the same thing that we’re paying $150 for now,” Council President Ron Kaplewicz said.

“So, we can plant 100 (whips) for around the cost of what we’re paying for one tree,” June MacArthur pointed out. She wrote the grant application.

The trees came from Oswego County Soil and Water, she said.

“The trees that have been planted out near Riley School are the first group of little trees we’ve tried as a grow out station. We’ve been having to deal with deer and acid soil out there, so that’s what  made us decide to try placing the little trees on the streets,” she explained. “We’re hoping our attrition rate will be better on the streets.”

If the city accepts the donation of trees, they can’t be given to individual homeowners because the city can’t give gifts, Kaplewicz said.

Therefore, the city will accept trees that it needs for city use while the Tree Stewards will retain some others for use by residents.

“We’re saving 20 to give to people for their property and 80 for public spaces,” June MacArthur said. “With six Oswego Tree Stewards, we planted 25 on Tuesday (Nov. 4) down around West Schuyler and the Oswego River, some along Linear Park. We’re going around areas that are lacking trees and asking people if they’d like a Red Oak or Little Leaf Linden. All of today’s Tree Stewards are retired folks.”

They have met with some of the neighbors like Coast Guard and OMF to talk them into having some trees, she added.

2 Responses “Tree Program Branches Out In Oswego”

  1. Erik wagner
    November 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Sounds like amateur hour. So the city accepts free trees. They are paying folks to plant them. They are paying folks to look after them for 3 years. When they croak from haphazard care, they will pay folks to dig them up. Hmmmm, sounds to me this probably adds up to more than 150$ per tree.

    Seems the city could probably do just as well by requesting a local farmer donate a small parcel of corn field, plant the whips, and let them nurture them for a few years. Cut the fellow a tax break as part of a conservation easement during that time or pay the fellow a fair rate to dig them up, which likely would be far less than 150$ per tree.

    Square thinkers never get outside the box…

  2. IM Watching
    November 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Dig a hole put in some potting soil, some peat moss and some cow manure mix it up then add the tree and water it, that should take care of the acid soil. Shoot the Deer!

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