Horticulturist Dwight Long, right, and worker Steve Loggins plant a new Bosque elm along Howard's on Main on Friday morning as part of the initiative to plant more trees in Uptown. (Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
Greenwood is continuing with diversifying its tree canopy Uptown, adding different types of trees along streetscapes, in addition to the large number of established Darlington oaks already part of the landscape.
Greenwood City Manager Charlie Barrineau said this is a proactive plan to lessen the threat of disease damaging the Darlington oaks.
Fifty-seven oaks were originally planted down the median of Main Street and U.S. 25 in March 1987, Barrineau said.
“The city has maintained the canopy during the last three decades and replaced trees when needed,” Barrineau said, noting that trees “soften the environment of concrete and asphalt” Uptown while also adding curb appeal and helping to keep storefronts occupied.
Barrineau said the diversification project began along Oregon, Maxwell and Court avenues, by planting a mixture of Trident maple and Lacebark elm.
Three city employees are involved with the tree selection process: Billy Allen, public works director, and city horticulturists Dwight Long and Ann Barklow, Barrineau said. Project landscape architect Yancey Robertson, of the Davis and Floyd engineering firm in Greenwood, also served as an adviser.
Long said diseases or pests occasionally wipe out a particular tree species, so planting a variety of trees prevents one disease from destroying all the trees in a community.
“The American elm was once the most commonly planted street tree in North America,” Long said. “A fungus called Dutch elm disease entered the United States and spread across the nation, killing millions of elm trees and leaving many cities almost treeless.”
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