The city of Warren is giving out trees

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry The City of Warren is looking to add to its urban forest by planting 70 street trees this fall. Residents interested in free trees for their tree lawns are asked to contact the Department of Public Works at 723-6300.

The City of Warren is looking for places to plant trees.

This fall, officials would like to plant 70.

As of now, the city only has 25 of those trees reserved.

“We have 25 places where we have removed a tree and the homeowner would like another tree,” Superintendent of Public Works and City Arborist Joe Reinke said. “We’d like any city resident who would like a tree to contact our department. I’ll come and inspect the site, make sure we can put a tree there, and figure out the right species for that location.”

If the property owner would like a particular size, shape, or species of tree, Reinke will work with that request if the tree is appropriate for the site.

“Basically, we’ll get them a free tree for the fall,” he said.

“If you’re interested in a tree from the city, please contact us,” Public Works Director Mike Holtz said.

The city offices can be reached by calling 723-6300.

The fall planting will take place around the end of October.

In years when the city has trouble finding enough spaces for trees along the streets, some of the overflow can be planted at Betts Park.

There is a little more competition for that space this year.

The Betts Foundation has given the city a grant that will fund the placement of trees at Betts Park to replace ash trees lost to emerald ash borer.

“The Betts Foundation continues to be committed to providing the community with a park that serves the needs of all individuals,” Michelle Betts said. “While there is value in enhancing the physical amenities of the park, such as ball parks, playgrounds and pavilions, the park’s nature scape must also be addressed. Replacing the ailing ash trees is a positive step in maintaining this inviting outdoor space.”

The city has a long history of keeping trees — from shade trees to ornamentals — in the city. Workers plant trees in the spring and the fall to replace those that were removed and to add to the number of trees in the city.

“What we try to do is get 100 new trees in a year because of the amount that we remove,” City Planner David Hildebrand said.

TreeVitalize grants through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Urban Forestry fund a portion of the planting. “What they’re looking for is to increase the tree cover throughout the city,” Hildebrand said. “We have to match the funding to a degree.”

More trees are planted in the fall than the spring. “There are more available in the fall,” Hildebrand said. “Certain trees don’t transplant well in the spring. The rate of success is a little better in the fall — when we put them in in the fall, they are totally dormant.”