RADFORD – The Radford City Council recently received an update on the city’s Beautification and Municipal Forestry Commission and its effort to plant 150 trees in 2022 in honor of the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day.
“We’re pretty close to reaching that goal,” said Dr. Matt Close, co-chair of the commission. “We should get there if we can get everything planted before winter.”
Close said about 40 trees were planted on West Main Street, and other plantings include a centerpiece cedar tree planted in the center of the roundabout at Sundell Drive, Eastern Redbud trees along Sundell Drive, several trees at Glencoe Mansion and the Mary Draper Ingles Cultural Heritage Park, East Main Street, Scott Street and Dick Davis Drive, and in Bisset Park and along New River Drive.
Close said he would like to see the city enhance the health of its tree population by increasing public awareness and training for proper tree pruning and removal, the best species to plant locally, and possible changes in policies and city code regarding tree planting and removal.
Close also introduced Jesse Kelly, who operates a non-profit called Nursery Natives, the mission of which is “restoring native ecosystems, food sources and community, one tree at a time.” Kelly has launched a Facebook page to allow citizens to vote on an official Radford city tree. Close said once the voting is over, the Beautification Commission will likely appear before the city council in the hopes the city will officially adopt a city tree.
Kelly said there are five tree species in the final running for the official Radford city tree. They are the Eastern Redbud, the Common Paw Paw, the Cucumber Magnolia, the Red Maple, and the Flowering Dogwood. The trees are all recommended species for the local area through the Virginia Department of Forestry. Voting is open until Oct. 10 at (https://www.facebook.com/groups/radfordcitytree).