City Forester Says Tree Planting Goal Of "Take Root" Almost Met
Dec 20, 2011 by www.thechattanoogan.com
City Forester Gene Hyde said the goal of planting 1,500 trees downtown through the “Take Root” program has almost been met.
He said 1,300 trees have been planted under the program, including a large number of species ranging from the strange-looking Kentucky coffee trees to ginkgos from China.
Speaking to the Pachyderm Club he and assistant Preston Roberts said “Take Root” came about after Select Trees of Athens, Ga., offered to donate trees to the city, Chattz Coffee offered to help in the tree program and Leadership Chattanooga 2008 wanted to take on an outdoor project.
Mr. Hyde said the leadership group came up with a number of ideas, including the name and logo. He said one way of spreading the word about the program was to spray paint the logo on green irrigation bags all over town.
Mr. Roberts said he has been amazed by the enthusiasm of volunteers in the program. He said a number showed up for the initial planting though it was a rainy day.
The root balls weigh up to 600 pounds so much of the tree planting is done by a contractor.
Mr. Hyde said Chicago has a tree canopy of 11 percent, Charlotte 16 percent and Philadelphia 20 percent. He said Chattanooga – boosted by the fact the sides of Lookout and Signal Mountains are in the city limits – stands at 51 percent.
He said trees are valuable in many ways, including removing pollutants from the air.
Mr. Hyde said, “I’m not from Chattanooga, but hopefully this is my home for the rest of my life. I love it here and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”