Bellows Falls gets eight new trees

BELLOWS FALLS — Trees were planted on School and Atkinson Streets in Bellows Falls in mid-June by the Rockingham Tree Committee.

According to a news release, the School Street trees were made possible via a 50-50 Caring for Canopy tree planting grant the Rockingham Tree Committee received from the Vermont Urban and Community Forest Program and funds from the town of Rockingham.

The grant allowed for six trees to be planted on School Street, replacing trees lost over the years due to age or construction. Four Chanticleer pears and two honey locusts were planted.

An additional two Autumn Blaze maples were planted on Atkinson Street. The Atkinson Street trees were paid for by Green Mountain Power as part of an agreement between the power company and the town's Tree Committee to replace trees removed during electric line and pole work done several years ago on the street.

The planting on Atkinson Street was delayed until 2018 due to the pole replacement and the subsequent paving project along the entire street. Atkinson Street used to be graced with elm trees until the onset of Dutch elm disease when all the elms were lost.

The trees were purchased from Allen Brothers and installed by Vermont Hillside. The Tree Committee purchased a large plastic tank several years ago that fits into the rear of a Committee member's vehicle and is used to haul water for the trees. Watering has been done on a daily basis due to the warm weather.

In prior years, the Rockingham Tree Committee has obtained grant funds for tree planting on South Street, Henry Street Extension, Green Street, the Bellows Falls Playground, the Rockingham Meeting House, Academy Avenue, the Square, Bridge Street, Rockingham Street, Atkinson Street, the Rockingham Public Library, Island Park, School Street, and Hetty Green Park.

In addition, grant funds have been obtained for pruning projects.

The past two winters have taken a toll on many of the community's street trees. Twelve trees were removed during the winter of 2017-18.

The Committee has also worked on pruning projects this year including the downtown trees in Bellows Falls, which were pruned by a certified arborist, and at the south end of the Waypoint Center in conjunction with students from the Horticulture and Natural Resources Program at River Valley Technical Center in Springfield, Vermont.

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