March 27, 1997

Salem has again been named a Tree City USA by The National Arbor Day Foundation for the twenty-first consecutive year. Salem is a charter member and was the first city to receive this award in Oregon. This year is the 125th anniversary of Arbor Day.

The City of Salem will be presented with the 21st TREE CITY USA award by Oregon State Urban Forester Paul Ries at 12:00 noon in the City Council Chambers. The mayor will then proclaim April 6 as Arbor Week.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

To become a Tree City USA, a community must meet four standards: a tree board or department, a city tree ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance.

Salem's citizens have been supportive of the street tree program. They consent to replanting where necessary to remove diseased or damaged trees, grant easements when street improvements limit planting space, and advise city staff when special maintenance needs arise.

The Parks Division is responsible for the street tree program which includes planting, pruning and removal of dangerous or damaged trees on the street right of ways. There are currently 95,000+ street trees for which the Parks Division is responsible. In addition, there are thousands of trees within city parks they also maintain.

Arbor Week originated in 1872 as Arbor Day and is observed annually during the first full week in April (specified by Oregon state statute). It is celebrated nationally, and as part of this annual celebration numerous tree planting activities are scheduled for Salem.

Source: City of Salem

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