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State forestry officials, local community leaders and urban forest enthusiasts chatted at the pavilion on business man Allan Jones' Creek Ridge estate Friday before Tennessee's official Arbor Day observance began. Staff Photo by Randall Higgins

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - State forestry officials joined local leaders and urban forest advocates today for Tennessee's official Arbor Day observance.

The ceremony was held at businessman Allan Jones' Creek Ridge estate.

State Forester Steve Scott said Cleveland was chosen because it holds the first trifecta for Tennessee urban forest awards: Tree City USA for the 19th consecutive year, Treeline City USA for Cleveland Utility's urban forest management and Tree Campus USA, for Cleveland State Community College.

All the awards were for 2010.

State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, announced at the end of the ceremony that Cleveland once again will be awarded the triple crown of urban forestry for 2011.

Cleveland Urban Forester Dan Hartman announced that the landmark green ash tree in the middle of Deer Park has died and is now a danger to kids on the playground around it. It will be replaced by a willow, he said.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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