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Published: Wednesday, 4/9/2008

Sylvania to sponsor Arbor Day activities

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Sylvania, a city known for bursting into a rainbow of color in the springtime, will go green during two upcoming events that will focus on plants and trees.

On April 25, elementary school students and other area residents are invited to attend Sylvania's Arbor Day event where they can watch or help plant a black Tupelo tree at 11:30 a.m. at the city's Administration Building, 6730 Monroe St. Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April.

Sylvania, a community with a name that literally means "city of trees," last year celebrated its 25th year as a Tree City.

Art Landseadel, the city forester, has described trees as "an infrastructure investment of consequence.

Since 1975, the city's parks and forestry division has planted about 7,400 street trees. Replacement value of Sylvania's street trees has been estimated at nearly $3 million.

The tree to be added to the Sylvania landscape during the Arbor Day program, the black Tupelo, was chosen by the Society of Municipal Arborists as the 2008 Urban Tree of the Year.

The black Tupelo is a slow growing compact tree with outstanding red fall color, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. The native tree's summer leaves are a dark green with a high-gloss appearance, but its fall foliage features many shades of yellow, orange, bright red, purple or scarlet that may appear on the same branch. Bark matures to medium gray and resembles alligator hide. Fruit is bluish-black and is a favorite treat of many birds. The tree prefers well-drained, acid soils, and full sun to partial shade.

The planting ceremony during Sylvania's Arbor Day program will take about 30 minutes.

It likely will take much longer for area residents to participate in the Sylvania Sprouts Flower day where visitors can browse through colorful rows of bedding plants.

Shop Sylvania, a committee of the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce, is developing plans for the 2nd annual event that will be held along Maplewood Drive in downtown Sylvania from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 10. The street will be closed from Main Street through Summit Street.

Pat Nowak, Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, said about 1,500 people came to the inaugural Sylvania Sprouts Flower Day when the event was introduced last year.

SHOP Sylvania encourages residents and visitors to stop and shop in the retail areas of Sylvania, and that Sylvania Sprouts is an event that brings local merchants and growers together highlighting the importance of buying local while encouraging collaboration among merchants.

Stores in the downtown area will be open, and other attractions include children's activities, refreshments, and entertainment.

Flower merchants scheduled to participate include Barrows Greenhouse, Goetz Greenhouse, Creque's Greenhouse, Wenz Brothers Farms, Louis Keil & Sons, and Tom Britton's Fields of Dreams.

For additional information about the Sylvania Sprouts Flower Day, contact Laura Glover at the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce.



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