Hort Shorts: Newton is a Tree City USA

Hort Shorts: Newton is a Tree City USA

Note: Hort Shorts are horticultural articles from the Newton Tree Board that encourage citizens to learn, explore and enjoy the benefits of trees. Each Hort Shorts will focus on tree and plant care topics including cultivation, maintenance and dealing with pests.

NEWTON, N.C. – Did you know Newton is a Tree City USA community?

Tree City USA began in 1976 as a bicentennial program through the National Arbor Day Foundation. The nationwide program provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across America.

Newton was designated a Tree City USA in each of the past four years and is on its way to a fifth year of recognition in 2015.

Communities must meet four core standards of sound urban forestry management to achieve Tree City USA status:

» Maintain a tree board or department
» Have community tree ordinances
» Spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
» Celebrate Arbor Day

More than 135 million people live in the 3,400 communities that participate in Tree City USA.

Most people have enjoyed the shade of a tree on a hot summer day. However, trees offer many more benefits than shade.

Trees add beauty to rural and urban settings, creating feelings of serenity, peace and tranquility.

City trees often serve architectural and engineering functions. They offer privacy, emphasize views or screen eyesores. Trees reduce glare and reflections and can direct pedestrian traffic. Buildings are enhanced by trees planted to provide backgrounds, soften features and complement styles.

Environmentally, trees moderate climate, improve air quality, conserve water and harbor wildlife.

The value of a home can be increased by 5 to 20 percent by planting trees and landscaping.

The Newton Tree Board encourages all citizens to learn, explore and enjoy the many benefits of trees.