Trees to make big comeback.
With a variety of groups working to replant, at least 3,500 new trees are taking root across Worcester and there are plans to plant 15,000 or more over three years, all in an effort to replace what has been lost to the Asian longhorned beetle infestation.
Yesterday the Worcester Tree Initiative kicked off "It's All About the Trees" at Quinsigamond Community College. The event included updates from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the city of Worcester's Forestry Department and the release of part of the groups' calendar of events. The first free tree giveaway of the season is May 8 at Green Hill Park.
Each resident who receives a free tree must first complete a tree-planting class, something U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, learned last year.
"Until last year I don't think I knew how to plant a tree," Mr. McGovern said. "Until I took the course ... I was doing it exactly the wrong way."
Those who spoke, including Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray and Mayor Joseph C. O'Brien, said they are impressed with the number of residents who have come out to help reforest the areas that appear barren after infested trees were cut from the landscape. They know it will take years for the new plantings to shade their streets but most are willing to do the work or at least let officials plant new trees on their property.
"Almost everybody said, `Yeah, go ahead and drive into our yard with that backhoe and plant those trees for us,'" Eric F. Seaborn, DCR Urban Forestry Program coordinator, said.
Every tree planted is, or will be, a map dot on a special tracking program developed by students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Peggy Middaugh, project coordinator for the Worcester Tree Initiative, said.