Members of the Bainbridge Garden Club admire a newly planted Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata). Photos Courtesy Village of Bainbridge.

Reported by Philip C. Wade, Bainbridge Mayor, Leader of Arbor Date Event

The Village of Bainbridge (pop ~ 3300) is located at the eastern edge of Chenango County, halfway between Binghamton and Oneonta. The Village was awarded up to $1000 in grant monies from the New York State Urban Forestry Council to be used for tree purchase and planting materials for a community Arbor Day Tree Planting event which was held in Bainbridge on Friday, May 25th. It was a very successful event, with participation from the Village DPW crew, Boy Scouts, and the local Jericho Garden Club of Bainbridge.

As a result, seven balled-and-burlapped (B&B) trees of 1.5 to 2” caliper representing six different species were planted around the Village, including the Village Green Park, along Greenlawn Avenue, on Front Street, and on Parsons Street. All species are suitable for Bainbridge’s USDA Hardiness Zone (5a to 6a, depending on microclimate within the Village), and in respect to the local maple sugaring industry, included a sugar maple cultivar (Acer saccharum ‘Fall Fiesta’).

Planting and mulching help from the Bainbridge-area Boy Scouts. 

Although the urban forest in and around Bainbridge is diverse, there are a large number of sugar maple trees in the treescape. Unfortunately, due to soil compaction, road salt, many years of tapping for sap, as well as advanced age, many of these maples are in decline or have already been removed. We hope to reverse this trend with planting projects such as this one.

The other species chosen were tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), ornamental pear (Pyrus ‘Cleveland Select’), Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’ and ‘Snowdance’), and an upright form of red maple (Acer rubrum). Species were chosen in consultation with Andy Hillman of Davey Resource Group.  

Bainbridge DPW crew members helping out on planting day. 

The response from the Bainbridge community was very positive and upbeat; an event like this has not taken place in the Village’s recent past. The DPW Workers were very enthusiastic, as were the Boy Scouts and Garden Club members who participated. Facebook was employed to generate interest in the planting event; the post reached 244 people—substantial for a community of Bainbridge’s size.  

This event has prompted interest in reviving the Bainbridge Village Tree Committee to pursue additional Arbor Day events and to investigate other urban forestry initiatives, such as a tree inventory.