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Rehoboth gears up to plant 47 new trees

Speaker to discuss challenges for urban tree programs April 25
Rehoboth Beach City Arborist Liz Lingo gives a presentation to the city commissioners on a plan to plant 47 new street trees on Munson Street and State Road. Lingo said she plans to start the project this spring. RYAN MAVITY PHOTO
April 21, 2017

Rehoboth Beach is gearing up to plant trees in its Country Club Estates neighborhood.

City Arborist Liz Lingo said the city has received a $5,000 grant from the Delaware Forest Service to plant 47 new trees in rights of way between the curb and sidewalks along State Road and Munson Street. Lingo said these areas were selected because they Country Club Estates was once a golf course before it became a neighborhood, so there are few trees.

Lingo said State Road and Munson Street were the best street tree planting sites in the city because they have wider rights-of-way and no overhead utilities.

The trees will be moderate in size, such as lindens, dogwoods and willow oak, which will be planted 25 to 35 feet apart.

Lingo said she wanted to expand the diversity of the city’s trees. “I wanted to do a different species by block,” Lingo said.

She said tree locations avoid driveways, electric utility boxes and fire hydrants. By planting street trees relatively close together, she said, it keeps the limbs from growing aggressively so the trees grow tighter and more upright.

The grant for the trees includes mulching, planting and watering, she said.

Lingo said she hopes to begin the project during the spring before the weather gets too hot. The city commissioners and some citizens have complained the trees will damage sidewalks and interfere with utilities, but Lingo said utilities will be marked closer to the planting date. She said if a planting site is within 2 feet of a utility, the site will be excavated by hand.

“We have flexibility in final locations if there are any conflicts,” Lingo said.

At the commissioners’ April 10 workshop, Commissioner Stan Mills applauded Lingo for seeking grants for tree planting and called for city officials to come up with a planting plan for the entire city. Mills and Lingo said it was time the city updated its tree ordinance, which is nearly 10 years old.

 

Citizen groups plan tree events

Meanwhile, members of the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Trees are planning events to inform Rehoboth residents about trees.

First, the committee is proposing a self-guided tour with a map and brochure featuring high canopy trees within the city. Homeowners are invited to nominate trees that could be included in the tour and brochure. To do so, contact the city’s communications department at 227-2772 or email communications@cityofrehoboth.com.

In addition, at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, at the Rehoboth fire hall, the committee will host Anne Little, executive director of Tree Fredericksburg of Fredericksburg, Va., a nonprofit group that works with the city to support urban tree programs.

Little will discuss her group’s challenges and successes and will take part in a question-and-answer session afterward.