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Officials plant heritage tree at Madison Public Library

MADISON — The heavy rain let up just in time for members of Tree City USA, the Madison Beautification and Tree Board and Mayor Paul Finley to plant a heritage tree under sunny skies at the Madison Public Library Feb. 26.

The special event was part of Madison’s recognition of Alabama Arbor Day (Feb. 26) and was also acknowledged as an official Madison Sesquicentennial event, one of more than 40 in 2019 to celebrate the city’s 150th birthday.

Officials plant the heritage tree. (Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

Amber Braman, president of the Madison Beautification and Tree Board president, said they chose to plant a Scarlet Fire Dogwood tree, developed by Rutgers University, for several reasons: its versatility; increased resistance to pests and diseases; climate and soil adaptability; and striking color.

“The color is a dramatic pink to fuchsia, which is expected to be stunning in full bloom and to be a nice addition to the new Madison Library,” Braman added.

(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

The board coordinated with the mayor’s office, public works and parks and recreation for recognition by Tree City USA, and 2019 marks their 18th year with the program.

At the Feb. 25 Madison City Council meeting, Finley read aloud a proclamation declaring the week of Feb. 26 “Alabama Arbor Day Week” in Madison. That meeting also saw all 32 winners of this year’s local Arbor Day Poster Contest recognized with certificates from the mayor, board and council. The following evening, the board held their annual Arbor Day Workshop, which featured guest speaker Clarissa Balbalian from Mississippi State University. The workshop offered tips on “helping your landscape thrive.”

Following the workshop, the board had 150 tree saplings of different varieties to distribute in honor of Madison’s sesquicentennial.

“The Madison Beatification and Tree Board hopes to continue enriching Madison City residents with education on important topics like ‘right tree right place,’ ‘proper crape myrtle trimming versus crape murder,’ and now disease identification for them to have the ability to know the proper care for trees and plants in their landscape,” Braman said.

Madison City Council approved a $10,000 appropriation for the Madison Beautification and Tree Board this year at their Jan. 28 meeting. For more information on the board, visit keepmadisonbeautiful.org or  www.madisonal.gov/92/beautification-tree-board.

For a complete list of Madison 150 events, visit www.madisonal.gov/madison150.

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