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SMA Announces Giant Sequoia as 2021 Urban Tree of the Year

Vallejo, California artist Gary Stutler (garystutler.com) used charcoal and acrylic to depict this giant sequoia in his neighborhood. He says, “I have often admired many of Vallejo’s trees but had never before drawn such a singularly tree-honoring image. This was a strikingly suitable task because the fusion/confrontation between the human-made and the organic, the private and the public, is the ultimate concern of my art.”

Each fall, members of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) nominate and vote for the SMA Urban Tree of the Year. Tree species or cultivars of species native to the U.S. Midwest, South, and East have dominated the Urban Tree of the Year program in its 25-year history (see past winners here).

For 2021, SMAers in the western states of the U.S. must have gotten organized; their collective might pushed the majestic giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) over the finish line. (And yes, there are giant sequoias that have been planted and are thriving in New York State, including at Wave Hill in the Bronx, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and New York Botanical Garden, and on private properties on Long Island. We’ve also gotten reports of giant sequoia trees doing splendidly in southeastern Connecticut.)

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Volunteers Restore Manorhaven Preserve on Long Island with Native Plants

Interpretive signage for the native trees volunteers planted in the new Native Plant Garden in the Manorhaven Nature Preserve.

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” Kahil Gebran

Nassau County’s location on Long Island and Port Washington’s location in Nassau County. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rcsprinter123

According to a 2017 article on the blog Patch: Port Washington, Long Island edition, the Native Plant Garden in Manorhaven Nature Preserve was a project initiated in 2017 by Nassau County Master Gardener Pat Valente and realized with the help of many fellow volunteers. To date, the community has planted more than 1000 native plants, including eighteen species of Long Island native trees, in the Preserve. 

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Jamestown Community College Plants Sugar Maple to Celebrate 11 Years as Tree Campus USA

Council Board Member Lori Brockelbank sent news from Western NY: Jamestown Community College celebrates 11 years as a Tree Campus USA!
Present at the Jamestown Community College planting of a Highland Park Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum ‘Hipzam’) in honor of 11 years of Tree Campus USA status were students, staff, Lori Brockelbank, Jamestown City Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and JCC President Daniel DeMarte.

DEC Urban Forestry Series for Tree Check Month

This month NYSDEC Urban & Community Forestry Partnerships Coordinator Christina McLaughlin is filming UCF Program Technical Coordinator Dan Gaidasz for several Tree Check Month videos through FB Live. But you can watch them anytime! This video about Undoing the Damage Caused by Mulch Volcanos is available on the NYSDEC FB page as will be the next two videos, when Dan covers Tree Cavities and Managing Climbing Vines.

2020 ReLeaf Conference in Buffalo Rescheduled for 2021


In case you missed the announcement in May’s TAKING ROOT news

From President Karen Emmerich

Sadly, due to the pandemic, we had to cancel the 2020 ReLeaf conference scheduled for July 23-25th in Buffalo. But the good news is that the Region 9 ReLeaf group has agreed to host the conference next summer, so put July 22-24th, 2021 on your calendar. We don’t want all their hard work to be in vain. It’s disappointing, but I think it’s the right decision.

I know many people had to postpone or cancel their Arbor Day celebrations, but in my town, we’re going to focus on an Arbor Week celebration in November. We’re all trying to make the best of a tough situation, so we have to be creative. As things open up in the months ahead, I hope we can re-establish our regional meetings/workshops. But until then, please stay safe and take time to smell the flowers.