Planting begins for Trees of Courage - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Planting begins for Trees of Courage

March 9, 2004

Albany - If you drive down Westover Boulevard in Albany this week, you will see new trees popping up in the median. More than 600 trees are being planted as part of the Trees for Courage project.

The city is cutting down some trees that are already there, and some people are upset. But, this is not a case of out with the old and in with the new.

From the truck to the ground, one by one the trees of courage are being planted. "We'll be planting a tree for each of the soldiers we've lost in the Iraq conflict," said Keep Albany/Dougherty Beautiful Director Judy Bowles.

In the next two weeks, volunteers, City, County, and State workers will plant 660 trees. The First Methodist Church of Albany is writing a letter to each fallen soldier's family to tell them about the memorial trees.

"We're using 4 varieties of trees - crepe myrtle, the bald cypress, several varieties of oak, and southern magnolias," said Arborist and landscaper Bob Takash. Takash says the trees will bring color to every season. "There are some blooming trees, some fall color. There's evergreen with the magnolia, so it will be a good variety."

But, the sound of chain saws is unnerving some people. Workers are cutting down 34 trees, but Takash says only diseased and weak trees are coming down.

"Some of these trees are a little close to the pavement, the canopy is starting to overhang the road. The branch structure is just not good anymore, and they're starting to split out, which is a hazard. It's time for them to come out," said Takash.

Many other trees will remain and be intermingled with new magnolias, winterberry bushes, cypress, and crepe myrtles.

The Trees of Courage project costs nearly $100,000, and it's paid for with donations. All the trees are expected to be planted by March 20th, when volunteers will come out to plant the last trees and dedicate the project.

Posted at 4:42PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com