City-owned Brookhaven nursery to grow native trees

Brookhaven officials said the city has started a tree nursery in a city park to cultivate indigenous trees, which will be given to Brookhaven residents and developers at no cost to preserve the local tree canopy.

The nursey, which was started in April in Osborne Park at 3412 Osborne Road in Brookhaven, is a part of the city’s ongoing Sustainable Brookhaven Initiative.

“The Sustainable Brookhaven Initiative is a way of governing and managing in pursuit of lasting economic, social, and environmental development that seeks to avoid and prevent the depletion or permanent damage of Brookhaven’s resources, which include the environment,” stated a news release.

“Sustainable Brookhaven is a commitment to protecting our natural resources,” said Assistant City Manager Patrice Ruffin Dowdell. “Managing our tree canopy in this way costs almost nothing. It just requires a mindset to preserve indigenous trees whenever the opportunity presents itself.”

The dedicated half-acre space at the new nursery will have the capacity for approximately 250 trees, stated officials.

The species chosen for repopulation are all indigenous to the area, which means additional care should be minimal to nonexistent, and not widely available or well-stocked by local nurseries, according to officials.

The species that are currently planted or will be planted in the future include:
• White oak (Quercus alba)
• Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)
• Southern red oak (Quercus falcata)
• Scarlett oak (Quercus coccinea)
• Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
• Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
• Winged elm (Ulmus alata)
• Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
• American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
• American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
• Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)
• Pignut hickory (Quercus glabra)

“These trees will be available once they reach a certain level of maturity,” said Brookhaven arborist Jeff Dadisman. “Almost all of these trees are large growing species that need to be grown at the nursery for a few years before being released to Brookhaven residents free of charge.”

Brookhaven officials said the new nursery is just one of the ways the city is working toward tree canopy preservation.

“We have robust ordinances regarding tree removal and now we also have an easy way to repopulate and replenish trees that die or need to be removed,” said Brookhaven District 2 Councilman John Park. “The nursery is another demonstration of Brookhaven’s commitment to preserving our tree canopy, our most valuable natural resource.”

Brookhaven also employs full-time arborists who enforce the city’s tree ordinance and can provide citizens with guidance on the city’s tree removal requirements.

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