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TREE CITY USA

 

STATE OF TEXAS

113th ARBOR DAY OBSERVANCE

 

The 113th State Arbor Day Observance was held at Ellen Trout Park on Friday, April 26, 2002.  Speakers included Congressman Jim Turner, Texas Comptroller Carol Keeton Rylander, State Senator Todd Staples, State Representative Jim McReynolds, State Forester James B. Hull , Lufkin Mayor Louis Bronaugh and other distinguished guests.  Activities included the Tree City USA presentation, recognition of Tree Line USA Utilities, presentation of the Arbor Day poster contest winner, and presentation of the Big Tree Contest. 


Lufkin is a city that grew up in a forest. We are blessed with mature trees in our parks and along our streets. The citizens of Lufkin have a long history of appreciating this legacy and placing importance on preserving mature trees and planting new trees. City officials and citizens took the necessary steps for Lufkin to become a National Arbor Day Society, Tree City USA in 1984.

A part of becoming a Tree City USA was the formation of a tree board, which would include three city council members and two citizens. Current members include chairman, Mr. John Courtenay, retired US Forest Service, council members Ms. Lynn Torres, Mr. R.L. Kuykendall, Mr. Dennis Robertson and Mr. Joe Pace Entomologist of the TX Forest Service. 

The citizens of Lufkin can be proud that we live in a city where our local government recognizes that trees are an important part of our infrastructure and that the appearance of our surroundings greatly affects our quality of life. City beautification from trees and landscaping would not be possible without the team effort of many departments within the city, citizen organizations, and individuals who care for the street trees in front of their homes or business. 

Some people may not realize that the trees in front of their homes and businesses, which are on the right of way, belong to the city. In the future, many street trees will be planted throughout Lufkin. We need your help in maintaining these trees. 

Water is essential during the first two years of a newly planted tree. Mature trees benefit from water during drought periods. 

Pruning should only be done to remove a dead or crossing branch or if a limb is protruding too low into the street or sidewalk. Trees should never be topped. Topping is the process of severely cutting back limbs to shorten them. Historically this has been done yearly with Crape Myrtles with the misconception that this would promote better blooming. Call the City Arborist if you think a street tree needs pruning. 

Also a result of becoming a Tree city USA, an ordinance regulating the planting, protection, care, removal and control of trees on city property went into effect on July 28, 1984. A copy of this ordinance is available on request.  All lawn maintenance and tree service companies are encouraged to obtain a copy of this ordinance. Section 8, 9 and 10 discuss proper distance between trees according to size, distance from curb and sidewalk, distance from street corners and fireplugs and planting near utilities. Section 13 states, “It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm, or city department to top any Street Tree, Park Tree, or other tree on public property”. Remaining sections discuss pruning, diseased and dead tree removal and possible fines for violations. Contact the City of Lufkin if you believe a tree is diseased, dead or presents a hazard