For 30 consecutive years, Sylvania has been recognized for its tree-planting efforts.
The Arbor Day Foundation once again has given Sylvania a Tree City USA designation. The city is among more than 3,400 communities nationwide recognized for maintaining a street tree program.
Mayor Craig Stough said the Tree City USA designation “shows our commitment to the quality of the environment provided for our residents.”
Art Landseadel, Sylvania’s 91-year-old city forester, recalled how the city didn’t have many street trees when he began working for it in the late 1940s.
In 1978, then-Mayor James Seney asked Mr. Landseadel to beautify the city.
“At that time, maybe one person had a tree planted near the street curb,” Mr. Landseadel said.
Officials asked him to develop a park system and green space, including a tree planting program.
Sylvania received Tree City USA status after Mr. Landseadel notified the Arbor Day Foundation about the city’s efforts to plant more trees.
The Arbor Day Foundation has four core standards for the designation. Cities need to have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance.
Sylvania has a tree commission that meets six times a year to review the street trees. The city’s parks and forestry division maintains and cares for the trees. As the city forester, Mr. Landseadel ensures he plants the right varieties in a space where they can flourish and thrive.
“You have to have the right variety on the right streets,” he said.
Since Mr. Landseadel developed the city’s beautification efforts, more than 7,000 trees worth a collective $2 million have been planted. Sylvania has more than 25 tree types. They include maples, oaks, golden rain, and the flowering pear tree, the latter of which is Mr. Landseadel’s favorite.
The city devotes $40,000 to tree planting. Mr. Landseadel plans the beautification and landscaping efforts that keep the city green.
He figures a tree that is 8 to 10 feet high gives the city back $3,136.80 in energy conserved, higher property values, storm water intercept, and environmental benefits. The health benefits include cleaner air.
“Humans require 35 pounds of oxygen each day, and trees are big producer of that,” Mr. Landseadel said.
The canopy of a fully bloomed tree adds to the city aesthetically, and also shades a home. A tree’s shade can cut down on wind, which lowers heating costs by 10 to 20 percent. The shade a tree canopy provides over a home can reduce air conditioning costs by 15 to 35 percent.
At the annual Arbor Day celebration, a distinguished tree is donated by the Sylvania Rotary. In past years, the trees included one cut from an original Johnny Appleseed Apple tree and a Buckeye tree.
Sylvania’s Arbor Day celebration will be April 26.