Free trees available in city

Published 2:25 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

By By Lydia Grimes – lifestyles reporter
Brewton's landscape has seemed a little less green since Hurricane Ivan - but a new program aims to replace some of the trees the storm took down.
The City of Brewton lost many trees during Ivan and many others were damaged, Brewton Community Development Director Steve Yuhasz said. And some that weren't hurt by the storm were cut down deliberately by residents worried about the danger of having large trees in their yards, he said.
Now free trees for public and private use in the city are available through a grant from the Alabama Urban and Community Forestry Hurricane Ivan Financial Assistance Program.
Large or small trees may be chosen for planting. The selection of available trees include, White Oak, Shumard Oak, Live Oak, Bald Cypress, Pond Cypress and River Birch as the large trees. Chinese Pisache, Carolina Silverbell and Red Bud are the smaller trees. They will be from six to nine feet tall when they come in.
Yuhasz said the trees have been chosen because they will grow and thrive in the Brewton area.
Homeowners may choose up to two trees and priority will be given to the areas that were most heavily damaged by Hurricane Ivan. This program is primarily to replace trees which were destroyed or damaged by the hurricane.
Homeowners who receive the trees must sign a statement assuring they will be responsible and care for the trees until they are established. When the trees arrive, they will be planted on the homeowner's property by the program, but it will be the responsibility of the homeowner to schedule the planting.
Applications may be picked up at the Community Development Office in Brewton City Hall and they must be returned by Jan. 18.
The Community Development Office in Brewton and the Brewton Tree and Beautification Board are asking those who are interested, to stop, fill out an application and be ready to plant when the trees arrive in time for spring planting.
Initial response to the offer of free trees has been less than was hoped for, Yuhasz said, and because of the poor response the deadline will be extended.
Joe Gordy, president of the Brewton Tree and Beautification Board, urged everyone who would like to replace some of those bare spots with trees, to fill out their applications by Jan. 18, in order to get the trees in time for spring planting.
According to Gordy, some of the trees earmarked for the program will be used in public areas.
Applications ask that those wanting trees should agree to water everyday for the first week, water every other day during the next two weeks and water twice a week for the next nine months.

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