hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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February 22, 2012

City does 75 new plantings in urban areas

HAVERHILL — The city's efforts to restore many of its formerly tree-lined streets to how they looked years ago has continued with the planting of about 75 new trees.

The project included five saplings planted on the sidewalk in front of a plaza on Main Street — just up the hill from City Hall. The area has several businesses, including an auto parts store, a laundromat and a smoke shop.

Ron "RJ" Arigo, owner of Bay State Smoke Shop at 200 Main St., had watched workers from William F. Dunn Landscaping of Groveland plant the trees and said he likes the results of their work. The city had put the project out to bid and Dunn was awarded the contract, which includes additional tree planting in the spring.

"Once they're in bloom, they should brighten up the area and make it look more inviting," said Arigo, who is known as "RJ."

He said workers with Dunn did a nice job and that the dark mulch spread around the bases of the trees was a nice touch.

"Trees make it look more like we're part of a neighborhood," Arigo said.

Mayor James Fiorentini reinstituted the program several years ago with the idea that trees enhance property values and add to the aesthetics of a community. He said this latest round of tree planting was paid out of a combination of state grant money and money the city had budgeted for this work.

"We cannot do it all in one year, but our eventual hope is to replace the tree canopy on Main Street and Summer Street that we once had," Fiorentini said. "Over the years, we have made a concerted effort to plant trees and restore some of the lost tree canopy in the city."

Roland Goudreault, the city's deputy tree warden, said the landscaper has been careful to choose types of trees that are appropriate for where they are planted. He said eastern red buds were chosen for the area in front of the plaza where Arigo's shop is located because when they mature, they will not interfere with overhead utility lines.

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