Owego Rotary recently planted five Hybrid Oak trees in various municipally owned locations in the Village of Owego on Saturday, May 4. Plantings were done on West Avenue, Main Street, and Front Street.
The Hybrid Oaks are the result of a 15-year breeding program at the Cornell Urban Horticultural Institute (UHI), directed by Dr. Nina Bassuk. The trees were specially bred to do well in an urban environment.
In a city or village, trees often must grow in a small space with compacted soil. They are also subject to road and sidewalk salt, alkaline soils and drought. Street trees help reduce road noise, pollution, and heat. They also increase property values and provide esthetic enhancement.
These trees are part of a large long-term study by UHI with trees planted in various municipalities to assess their survival and growth. Staff from UHI will be visiting Owego periodically to look at the oak trees to learn more about which hybrids grow best. Oak trees were selected because they are sturdy and long-lived. They also have a large and spreading crown.
Owego Rotary obtained and planted the trees as part of their Centennial, in which they plan to plant 100 trees in Owego. They are also looking into the possibility of starting an arboretum in Owego with the other 95 trees.
Rotary would like to thank Anthony Albanese for picking up the trees at Cornell, Jeff Soules and the Village of Owego Department of Public Works staff for digging the holes, and a special thanks to Bill Shuler, who offloaded the trees when delivered, moved the trees to the holes, and helped fill the holes and position the trees. Their help was invaluable in getting these trees planted.