Tree Program Branches Out In Oswego

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.

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.

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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.