The Sackets Harbor Tree Committee was formed in the Fall of 2008 with $5,000 from the Village as a test run. The Tree Committee plants and maintains trees along the Village’s streets, parks and other public spaces, in order to enhance the natural beauty of our community with a larger tree canopy, cleaner air, beautification, and enhanced property values. Of the 22 Benefits of street trees outlined here, we pay particular attention to the fact that tree-lined streets have a traffic calming effect and have prioritized planting trees at the entrances to our Village.
Our goal when planting a tree in the Village is to choose the best species of tree for that particular space. We imagine that tree living a long, happy life in that spot. Many times, a short tree is the only option as many spaces have overhead power lines. When the opportunity arises, our first choice is to plant a tree that will someday create a large canopy.
Sackets Harbor’s first Arbor Day Celebration was held in the Spring of 2009 at the American Legion. We honored the work of the Legion and its place in supporting our community, veterans, and armed forces members in our community. That crabapple in the right-hand side of the front lawn is thriving today. Arbor Day is celebrated annually nationwide and in Sackets Harbor on the last Friday of April.
Tree City USA.
Sackets Harbor was first named a Tree City USA in 2019. To qualify to be a Tree City USA, four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation must be met. They include the presence of a tree board, a tree care ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on tree planting or maintenance, and the observance of an Arbor Day celebration. We have a plaque in the Village office and signs at the entrances to the Village. We also receive a flag that is flown at the Village Office on Arbor Day. We resubmit annually to get re-certified, and we now get a new (number of years) sticker for our signs at the entrances to the Village. For more information on the Tree City USA designation, please click here.
The Village received a GROWTH AWARD in 2023 for its higher level of tree care and community
engagement during the calendar year.
Tree Request Program/Fall Tree Planting Program
Under the leadership of Larry Barone, the tree committee started a property owner tree request program. This program has had great success when property owner education for the care and maintenance of the tree and the right species goes in the right location. If a property owner requests a tree, they are very likely to water, prune, and show care for the tree, ensuring its long life in our Village. Click here for the form.
Inventory and Management Plan
In the fall of 2021, Davey Resource Group performed a complete Village-wide Tree Inventory and Management Plan. This information gave the committee the location and measurements of our publicly owned trees in the Village. The inventory also mapped potential planting sites, utilities present, and other features. This inventory highlighted where we need to focus efforts to ensure the entire Village is benefiting from tree canopy.
The Tree Management Plan gave the Village an action plan and detailed information, recommendations, and resources needed to manage our public trees effectively and proactively. Professional assistance from Certified Arborists gave the Village’s tree program the guidance to ensure our existing trees are protected, and any new tree plantings are executed properly. *click here to see the Urban Forestry Management Plan.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
You cannot water a tree too much in the first few years of its life. We like to plant trees in the fall as they are going dormant so they can settle into their new location over the winter and receive spring rainfall before heading into the heat and possible drought of the summer. Once we hit the threshold of planting over 200 trees in the Village, we decided that maintenance was needed and would be the best gift we could give our young forest of trees. We used our tree funding allocation in 2018 to hire a contractor to maintain our public trees. Mulching, pruning, pulling back sod, removing wires and stakes gave our trees a much-needed boost.
The Committee and Village holds NYSDEC-taught pruning classes for the pubic and DPW crews. Pruning of young trees in the winter allows proper branching for storm resistance throughout the life of the tree.
The committee successfully applied for a grant in 2011 and the Village received funding for a large tree planting project. We have also raised funds in past years with very successful tree sales. The Village allots a generous amount in its budget each year to the planting and maintenance of the trees.
In December 2022, the Village enacted a tree ordinance that regulates the planting, maintenance, protection, and removal of trees located on public streets, parks, and other village-owned property and designates a Tree Committee. The ordinance also provides the parameters for seeking and obtaining permission for the planting, maintenance, removal, and protection of trees on village-owned property. *click here to see the Tree Ordinance
Our DPW crews have a long history of being very supportive of the efforts to plant trees in the Village. Like streetlights, park benches, and signs, trees are a valued part of the Village’s infrastructure. Because our trees are planted in the ROW or on public property, they are cared for under the DPW’s umbrella. We were very happy to plant a tree in their honor for Arbor Day 2013.
The New York State Department of Conservation has been a great support and resource for education and funding for the Village’s tree committee since its inception. NYSDEC has supported the Village with funding for tree planting, pruning classes, attendance at Arbor Day Celebrations with Arbor Day posters and merchandise, and overall guidance for the committee throughout the years.
The Village received funding through the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management in the fall of 2022 for a tree planting project of native tree species. The Urban Forestry Sustainability Initiative supported other north country communities as well.