Eighty-five trees to be planted in Urbana


The Daily Illini File Photo

85 new trees will be donated to the Urbana Cooperative Tree Planting Program by The Rotary Club of Urbana.

After Urbana lost 500 trees to the emerald ash borer, a species of beetle, over the past three years, 85 new trees will be donated to the Urbana Cooperative Tree Planting Program.

Mike Brunk, city arborist, said a public tree planting ceremony will be held in honor of the donation by the Rotary Club of Urbana, along with community residents Holly Rosencranz and Warren Lavey. 

The ceremony will be held at 105 Meadows St. at 2 p.m. April 27.

Brunk said tree-planting is an important part of any community forestry program, as it is a way to keep the forest infused with new youthful stock, which in turn keeps the forest vigorous. Planting new trees is also a way to keep a community forest diverse and better prepared for diseases and insect infestations.  

“Urbana’s forest has been besieged with the emerald ash borer, which is quickly killing all ash trees,” Brunk said. “Tree-planting, over the last decade, with species other than ash, has better prepared Urbana for this devastating loss by minimizing canopy loss.”  

The City of Urbana budgets a set amount of funds for tree-planting each year, and tree-planting has remained an important part of the City’s budget for the last four decades, Brunk said.

“It will be even more important in the next decade to speed our recovery from the emerald ash borer,” Brunk said.

Brunk said Urbana has an Urbana Cooperative Tree Planting Program to enhance tree-planting through public participation.

“This co-op program has provide Urbana with thousands of parkway trees since its inception, and anyone can participate. The basis of the program is that participants provide funding for new trees at $125 per tree, which are located on city rights of parkways,” Brunk said.

Brunk said residents and other participants will help add an additional 85 trees to be planted.

“The University of Illinois has its own tree care program and does a very good job in keeping campus green. The University of Illinois will be celebrating its fourth year as a Tree Campus USA program in 2018,” Brunk said.

Everyone can assist in tree care through planting new trees, helping young trees survive their first critical three years, letting community and state leaders know how important the trees are to health and well-being and becoming more friendly with trees, he said.

Brunk said to not lock or lean bicycles onto trees, tie or nail signs to trees, or lean or store debris on trees or under them.

“All of these things bring a community together in the care of the community forest. Seeing and hearing is believing, and when a community speaks and acts for its trees, it always makes a difference,” Brunk said.

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