Mansfield receives trees for Christmas

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

COVINGTON -- The city of Mansfield got a Christmas gift Monday that should last long into the future.

Members of the Mansfield Tree Board and the Georgia Forestry Commission planted 16 trees at three locations in the city. The trees were funded through a $1,000 Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful GREATways Grant, which encourages beautification of gateways and entrances throughout the county. In addition, in-kind contributions totaled about $2,060, and the city of Mansfield is funding a $450 cash match, putting the total project cost at $3,510.

The grant was awarded to help the Mansfield Tree Board continue its mission to protect, manage and improve the urban tree canopy in the city and surrounding community. The tree board was formed in 2008 and since that time has planted more than 50 trees.

Trees were planted Monday at East Third Street, the primary entryway into Mansfield Elementary School, Mansfield City Hall and Community Center and in the open space between the railroad and parking area downtown.

The city has removed several hazardous trees along East Third Street, and the four dogwood trees planted Monday will replace those, according to Beryl Budd, a forester and arborist with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

"These trees will add beauty along the street, which serves as the primary entrance to the school," Budd said. "Presently this area is overgrown with weeds and volunteer plants, including invasive species. These trees will replace the existing vegetation and the area will be mulched with wood chips."

Four trees -- three Redbuds and a Sugar Maple -- were planted at Mansfield City Hall and Community Center.

"In addition to the aesthetic benefit provided by these trees, the Redbuds will provide some shade for visitors and employee vehicles in the parking lot," Budd said. "The sugar maple canopy may also provide some energy conservation benefit for the City Hall building and shade vehicles in the front of the building."

Finally, eight crape myrtles were planted along an open space located between the railroad and parking area downtown.

"These additional trees will be planted in a line extending along the open area to enhance and provide flowering during the summer," Budd said. "The multi-stemmed trees will also be developed and pruned to develop small canopies, which will provide the additional benefit of afternoon shade for vehicles parking in the spaces along Main Street."