By Judi Shellabarger

Winter is the perfect time to plant a tree. The Cooper-Young Garden Club is committed to increasing the number and variety of tree species in the neighborhood. The club is urging homeowners and business owners to continue to rebuild the neighborhood by planting trees, caring for the ones they currently own, and by giving financial support to the garden club to replant trees. Each year, the Cooper-Young Garden Club offers a tree reimbursement program for qualified homeowners. This is our way of adding to our Cooper-Young Historic District Arboretum and our tree canopy.

Native trees are a vital part of our neighborhood infrastructure. Trees improve air quality, reduce noise levels, absorb storm water, provide a wildlife habitat, moderate temperatures by cooling our streets and cities, prevent erosion, and provide energy savings. Trees create a tapestry of color, shapes, and shade that changes throughout the year. The color green is calming and relieves eye strain. Trees screen unattractive views and soften the harsh outline of masonry, metal, asphalt, steel and glass. People walk and jog more on shaded streets, which encourages interaction with neighbors and improves the sense of community. Homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly and are worth 5 to 15 percent more than homes without trees. Where the entire street is tree-lined, homes may be worth 25 percent more. Trees enhance economic stability by attracting businesses; people linger and shop longer when trees are present. Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and offices rent more quickly and have a higher occupancy rate; workers report more productivity and less absenteeism. Studies show that urban vegetation slows heartbeats, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes brain wave patterns.

The tree must be planted in the front or side yard where it can be seen from the street. It must be a tree needed for the arboretum. It can be either a native or non-native tree. The Garden Club will reimburse up to $100. You must have prior approval of site location and the tree selected before planting any tree. For more information and to apply, contact Judi Shellabarger at 278-2226.

Below are a few suggestions for trees you can plant:

Small trees

  • Downy Serviceberry
  • Rough-Leaf Dogwood
  • Cornelian-Cherry Dogwood
  • Parsley Hawthorne
  • Winter King Green Hawthorn
  • Possum Haw
  • Galaxy Magnolia
  • Leonard Messel Magnolia
  • Merrill Magnolia
  • Umbrella Magnolia
  • Paperbark Maple
  • Sawara
  • Southern Wax Myrtle

Medium Trees

  • American Hop Hornbeam
  • American Holly
  • Black Cherry
  • Blue Ice Arizona Cypress

Large Trees

  • Overcup Oak
  • Northern Red Oak
  • Shumard Oak
  • Greenspire Littleleaf Linden
  • Silver Queen Silver Maple
  • Any Hickory — Mockernut, Shagbark, Shellbark

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