TreeToga 2022 Transforms the Landscape!

Sustainable Saratoga’s Biggest Tree Planting Event Yet – 53 Trees Planted for the Next Generation on Saturday, April 30

Young planters pound in the stakes that will support a new tree on Oak Street. Photos provided by Sustainable Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – There was not a cloud in the sky as more than 160 volunteers came together to add 53 large-growing shade trees to the urban forest in Saratoga Springs, bringing the total to 338 trees planted since 2014. The event was organized by Sustainable Saratoga’s Urban Forestry Project and is done in partnership with the City of Saratoga Springs.

Sustainable Saratoga volunteer and retired DEC Forester Rick Fenton gives a tree planting tutorial to the volunteers before they head out to plant trees throughout the city. Photo credit: Jenn March

Volunteers assembled at Pitney Meadows Community Farm for camaraderie and a tree planting tutorial from retired DEC Forester and longtime volunteer Rick Fenton before dispersing around town to plant the trees. “We want to thank Pitney Meadows Community Farm for being gracious hosts of the event this year, Allerdice for donating the tree stakes, The Bread Basket Bakery for donating refreshments, and Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar for donating a portion of their proceeds on Saturday afternoon,” said Caroline Rothaug, chair of the Urban Forestry Project. In addition to planting in front of many homes, this year’s planting sites also included Vanderbilt Terrace, Jefferson Terrace, the Wilton YMCA, and Pitney Meadows Community Farm.

On the Cover: Digging in to plant the next generation of trees at Vanderbilt Terrace. Photo credit: Jenn March

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the climate mitigation role of urban trees – improving air quality, decreasing stormwater runoff, and reducing air temperatures on hot summer days. Large-growing trees provide greater benefits than their smaller counterparts, and when planted along streets, they help to reduce the amount of water entering our stormwater drains and extend the life of city streets. Some of the trees planted this year include Kentucky Coffeetree, Tulip Tree, Basswood, Sweetgum, and Hackberry. These newly planted trees will be nurtured and cared for by the homeowners for the enjoyment and benefit of generations to come.

Sustainable Saratoga urges people to consider planting a tree in their yard this year. Spring is a great time to plant a tree. “Trees provide many paybacks to a homeowner – they can increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, and provide inviting shade on those hot summer days,” says Wendy Mahaney, Sustainable Saratoga’s Executive Director. The group recommends planting a variety of trees native that are adapted to this region and that provide food and shelter for a variety of pollinators, birds and other wildlife. You can find a wealth of practical information on selecting, planting, and caring for trees at: https://sustainablesaratoga.org/projects/urban-forestry-project/practical-info-for-tree-planting-care/.

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