-By Joseph Domelowicz
For the Transcript
According to Winthrop Public Works Director Dave Hickey, the Winthrop DPW is in the process of planting 12 new street trees. These trees are donations from several generous residents, who have bought more than one tree on behalf of the Town in the belief that tree cover is critical to the value and well being of the Town.
“The ‘resident purchase a tree’ program or Arbor Program, was developed several years ago by the Town’s Tree Committee and is the single best opportunity to replace aged and storm damaged trees,” explained Hickey. “Typically Winthrop loses between 30 and 40 trees per year to age, disease or storm damage. This year’s new tree investments can be found on Revere St, near the Town line, on Brookfield Road, on Court Road, at the intersection of Morton and Read streets and on Crescent Street.”
“Basically, we had a tree that came down in a storm last year,” explained Guy Sasso, one of the residents who purchased trees this year for the program. “I inquired with the town officials if they replace trees, but because of the budget situation they couldn’t and I understand that.”
That’s when Sasso was informed about the purchase a tree program.
“We wanted to fill that void and once we heard about the program, we didn’t hesitate,” added Sasso. “I went up the nursery in Peabody (Northeast Nursery), picked out the tree that we wanted and the Town does the rest. It helps us, and it helps the Town because it makes the street look better.”
Georgianna Smith and her husband Jim were also lured to the program by the chance to replace an old tree that had to be taken down because of disease.
“We noticed that one of our (street) trees had been taken down by the DPW and so we called Dave Hickey,” explained Smith. “He explained that the tree and a lot of others had died and had to be taken down, which we understood and then he asked if we’d be interested in the Arbor program. . .and (he) explained what it was.”
After a visit by Hickey to look at the tree location and discussing the tree program with her husband, the Smith’s decided they wanted to participate and even pointed out a second tree near their home that was in need of being replaced.”
“He (Hickey) was extremely friendly and very knowledgeable and he suggested that it might be good for us to have a sterile fruit tree, a pear tree, that would be strong enough to handle the tough winter conditions,” said Smith.
After deciding they wanted to purchase two trees, the Smiths also visited Northeast Nursery in Peabody, purchased the two trees and the DPW will pick the trees up, prepare the site and plant them this spring.
“The tree committee wishes to publicly thank all our generous residents, current and past for their investment in our green infrastructure,” said Hickey. “Anyone interested in the program can call the DPW at 618 846 1341.“
The Sassos ad Smiths, are just two families that purchased more than one tree this year. Also purchasing more than one tree for the program this year were Jayson Deeb and the Carrol family.
The program allows residents to purchase trees from an approved list, at any nursery, including Northeast Nursery, where a small discount applies. The DPW will pay for and arrange the delivery, dig safe the spot and install the tree. A certificate memorializing the donation is included.
“The tree committee is also looking for two residents willing to serve as members,” added Hickey. “Interested residents should feel free to contact the DPW or reach out to chairman Tom Derderian.”