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Tree planting encouraged for Saturday event

ALBANY -- There is no poem as lovely as a tree, at least one poet said. Albany will gain 42 of the lovelies on Saturday.

Although Arbor Day actually falls on Friday, there will be an "Arbor Day Tree Planting Celebration" at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Sponsored by Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful and the Albany Recreation and Parks Department, the 22nd annual Arbor Day tree planting will be on the 100 block of Ingleside Drive.

"We did half the median last year," said Judy Bowles, Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful executive director. "This year, we will finish it."

The public is invited as there will be a demonstration of proper tree planting techniques, stated a flyer from Bowles' group. The idea is to get people involved in the hopes they will plant more trees.

"Trees not only make the city look better, they give us air to breathe. So they are also healthy," Bowles said.

The trees were selected by Ilis Malone, city arborist, and a committee. The $4,398 cost was split between Bowles' organization and the city, Malone said.

The trees selected were: 11 bottlebush buckeyes, 11 common smoketree, 11 myrtle hollies, eight Virginia sweetspires and an oakleaf holly. They conform to guidelines set by the state.

The trees have a natural-growth height and width that allows crews to maintain them without topping off or doing much trimming.

"They are going under power transmission lines," Malone said. "We are doing what is called the right tree in the right place and the guidelines are very strict on what you can plant."

Although the trees will be in previously dug holes, those attending are urged to bring a shovel, work gloves and to wear work clothes.