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Vice Mayor Colette George will issue a proclamation declaring Kingsport’s 34th Arbor Day Celebration at noon on Friday, March 6, at Roosevelt Elementary School.

“Our trees are part of what makes Kingsport such a great place to live,” said City Landscape Specialist Lewis Bausell. “It’s important to remind our community of that every year.”

In honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban forestry management, the National Arbor Day Foundation will recognized Kingsport as a Tree City USA for the thirty-fourth year in a row.

A community must meet four standards to receive this national designation and the Tree City USA flag. It must have a tree advisory board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an annual Arbor Day celebration. The National Association of State Foresters, USDA Forest Service and the Tennessee Division of Forestry also sponsor the Tree City USA program.

This Arbor Day, a new tree will be inducted to the Notable Tree of Kingsport Register. To be considered “notable,” a tree must have historical significance or be the largest of its kind in an area. This year’s tree is a Persimmon, located along Shadyside Drive.  This tree is over 55 feet tall with a circumference of over 47 inches and a crown spread of over 30 feet in any direction.

Kingsport’s Streets and Sanitation Department maintains over 12,000 trees and over 15 acres of landscaping in the city. The department also removes damaged or deceased trees on public lands, while providing annual upkeep of 21 park facilities and 827 acres of green space.

This department also maintains a Level II Arboretum Certification at Borden Park, sponsored by Domtar and Keep Kingsport Beautiful. The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture coordinate the arboretum certification program, which encourages public education of the importance of the different species of trees. Level II requirements include labeling over 60 trees species, keeping a map available to the public that shows the locations of the tree species and exemplifying proper tree management practices.

“These programs and partnerships show that Kingsport really values our urban forest,” Bausell said.

Kingsport’s Arbor Day celebration is a partnership of Domtar, City of Kingsport, Kingsport Tree Advisory Board and Keep Kingsport Beautiful.