The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) funded a downtown streetscape improvement and tree planting project in Georgetown, highlighted by the planting of 18 new cherry and lilac trees along East Market Street near the Sussex County Courthouse. Total cost of the project was estimated at $37,000. The DFS’ Urban and Community Forestry Streetscape Program – which offers a 50-50 match to recipients – provided $17,000, which Georgetown officials matched with almost $20,000 in project expenses and in-kind services.
In the first phase of the project, Georgetown’s Department of Public Works spent two weeks removing the old trees, many of which were either poorly adapted to the sites or suffered from disease or other environmental stress. During that time, workers also conducted extensive excavation of the existing soil in the tree pits, which was eventually replaced with a special 50-50 mix of topsoil and organic matter to help ensure survivability.
The second phase – the actual tree planting – took place under sunny skies on October 29, 2013. Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill of the DFS’ Urban and Community Forestry Program supervised the work by Bridgeville’s Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which was awarded the contract to provide the soil, supply the new trees, and complete the project according to Forest Service specifications. A total of 18 trees – nine Okame cherry trees and nine Japanese Ivory Silk Lilac trees – were planted in the newly-excavated sites. These two species, though not native to Delaware, were selected for planting by forestry officials for their high tolerance to environmental stresses common to urban areas and the fact that they are unlikely to outgrow the site constraints. The cherry and lilac trees will also provide beauty and visual appeal to the downtown area, providing an attractive climate for businesses and residents alike.
The final phase – installation of new protective tree grates – was expected to take place by mid-November. The existing iron grates, which suffered past damage by motor vehicles or were modified to accomodate the previously over-sized trees – will be replaced at the time the new ones are installed.
For more information about the urban and community grant program, contact: Kesha Braunskill, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator, Delaware Forest Service, 302-698-4578. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO: From left, Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill of the Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community forestry program carefully remove the wire mesh surrounding a new lilac tree planted as part of the downtown streetscape improvement project for Georgetown’s East Market Street area.
PHOTO: From left, the Delaware Forest Service’s Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill discuss the Georgetown East Market Street improvement project with Mike Milligan of Bridgeville’s Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which provided the new trees and completed the planting operation.
PHOTO: From left, Kesha Braunskill and Kyle Hoyd of the Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community forestry program inspect a new lilac tree that was planted outside the Sussex County Courthouse on Georgetown’s East Market Street. The $37,000 streetscape improvement project was a cooperative effort between town officials and the state’s forestry program that seeks to enhance and beautify the downtown area.
PHOTO: From left, Delaware Forest Service urban foresters Kesha Braunskill and Kyle Hoyd discuss Georgetown’s East Market Street civic improvement project with Mike Milligan of Bridgeville’s Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which performed the work and supplied the trees.
PHOTO: Across from Georgetown’s Sussex County Courthouse, Kyle Hoyd of the Delaware Forest Service prepares a new lilac tree for planting as part of a $37,000 streetscape improvement project that was partially funded by an urban and community forestry grant.