Northwest NEWS

April 22, 2002

Front Page

Woodinville celebrates Arbor Day April 27

By Bronwyn Wilson
   Senior Staff Reporter
   Four forest pansy trees and four Japanese snowbells will soon bring color and grace to Woodinville's downtown streetscape. On Saturday, April 27, members of the Woodinville City Council and Tree Board will hoist shovels and plant the eight trees along 140th Ave Northeast. The tree planting, beginning at 10 a.m., celebrates the City of Woodinville's seventh annual Arbor Day event and highlights the "right tree in the right place" concept where utilities, sidewalks and trees compete for space. The eight trees will beautify the street in front of the Synergy and Nelson Chiropractic buildings. The forest pansy, a deciduous tree, will add a splash of rosy-purple in spring when it fills out in blossoms. The Japanese snowbell will offer a calm gentleness to the downtown scene with its slender, graceful trunk, dark green oval leaves and horizontal branches which are noted in garden books as "splendid to look up into."
   "It's a pretty, green tree with a wonderful branch structure," comments Becky Perkins, senior city planner. The tree is also well suited for city life having non-aggressive roots.
   Puget Sound Energy contributed five of the eight trees and a number of local companies donated time and service to the Arbor Day planting event, including Asplundh Tree Service, Davey Expert Tree Co. and Total Landscape.
   In addition, the City will be receiving its sixth Tree City USA status and its fourth Growth Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. The City must satisfy certain criteria in order to receive Tree City standing. Says Perkins, "The City must have an ongoing Tree Board and Arbor Day and is required to spend $2 per capita on our urban forest." The Growth Award, she says, is a result of the City of Woodinville's efforts to go above and beyond the criteria for Tree City designation.
   Perkins explains the importance of trees in Woodinville. "They promote the northwest woodland character," she says, clarifying that the term is used in the Comprehensive Plan and is an outcome of what citizens stated they wanted for Woodinville now and in the future. "Trees also clean the air and water while providing shade," she says and adds, "Trees create a general sense of well-being."
   The idea for an Arbor Day celebration began in 1854 when J. Sterling Morton moved to Nebraska and noticed the vast, barren-looking plain void of trees. As a journalist and editor of Nebraska's first newspaper, Morton began writing about his enthusiasm for trees; aware his fellow pioneers missed the pleasure of having them. He wrote about the value of trees, mentioning their numerous uses in editorials, such as their benefit as windbreaks, fuel, building materials and shade. In 1872, he proposed a tree-planting holiday called Arbor Day, which was officially observed in Nebraska on April 10, 1874. Morton's birthday, April 22nd, was selected as the date of a permanent Arbor Day observance in 1885. Other states followed suit and the tradition spread nationwide. Today, the most common date for the state observances is the last Friday in April, but a number of states have their Arbor Day coincide with the best tree planting weather and at a time the public can participate.
   The members of Woodinville's Tree Board and City Council invite the public to attend the City's Arbor Day celebration this Saturday. Parking is available at City Hall or the Woodinville Park and Ride, a short walk from the event. The Synergy site has limited parking.
   For questions or further information, contact Becky Perkins at (425) 489-2757, Ext. 2283.