published Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Marking Arbor Day

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    Staff Photo by Randall Higgins/Chattanooga Times Free Press With help from Amy Banks, a Cleveland Tree Board member, Tennessee Urban Forester Bruce Webster displays Cleveland's newest Tree City USA flag. Tennessee's official Arbor Day ceremony was held in Cleveland Friday.

CLEVELAND, Tenn.—Trees are an important resource for energy conservation, the environment and the economy, Tennessee State Forester Steve Scott told those attending the state’s official Arbor Day observance here Friday.

Scott said Cleveland hosted the state celebration because the Cleveland Tree Board was selected by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council as the tree board of the year for 2010.

“Well-managed trees in urban environments can aid economic development, can reduce energy consumption, help with stormwater retention, add value to our properties and make our lives and the places we live so much better,” Scott said.

Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed a proclamation marking March 4 as Arbor Day in Tennessee.

The ceremony was held at the Creek Ridge pavilion on businessman Allan Jones’ estate here. Jones has been an urban forestry advocate for years, supporting the city’s tree-planting efforts.

Scott also cited Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland’s steadfast support for urban forestry in Cleveland.

Tennessee Urban Forester Bruce Webster presented Cleveland its 19th consecutive Tree City USA flag. Cleveland Utilities was presented the annual Treeline USA flag and Cleveland State Community College received the Tree Campus USA flag. The awards were for 2010.

“This shows this community is dedicated to the quality of life of its citizens,” Webster said.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, announced that the city will receive the three urban tree honors again for 2011.

Cleveland Urban Forester Dan Hartman described plans to replace a very large green ash, a landmark in Deer Park, that has died. He said it is a safety hazard for children in the playground and will be replaced with a willow.

“It’s finally given up. Trees do. They are living things, and they do eventually die,” Hartman said.

He also paid tribute to his Cleveland Urban Forestry Division staff.

“You will see them on the tractors and in the bucket truck doing tree planting, the trimming, the flowers and everything involved,” Hartman said. “Without them we probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Cleveland Tree Board Chairman Jan Cheek said the board will plant a tree of his choice in honor of Hartman.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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