From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
LEEDS — The Tree Commission for the city of Leeds completed a new project at Leeds Memorial Park, to replace a dead tree.
A Chinese Pistache was planted in place of the tree next to the Leeds Historical Park marque. The original tree was planted at Leeds Elementary School, by the commission in 1991, to honor the 100th birthday of Mercolle DeShazo Whorton. The tree was moved to Leeds Memorial Park during the 1995 – 96 demolition of the new school. The tree later died due to drought and heat.
Commission Chairman Eddie Cook said the commission replaces trees that are native to Leeds.
“Years ago when I first came on the commission, we had these Yoshino Cherry trees and their shelf life just isn’t that long, only about 20 to 25 years,” said Cook. “We had them all taken down three or four years ago and replaced with American Elms. The Elms are really doing well.”
Chinees Pistache is not native to Leeds, but it has a long lifespan. On average, the commission said the trees live around 50 years.
Tree Commission members are Commission Chairman Eddie Cook, City Council Representative Linda Miller, Susan Carswell and Lisa Herren.
Urban Forester from the Alabama Forestry Commission, Katie Wiswall, along with Commission members, were present to celebrate the planting.
Leeds was recognized earlier this year for its 29th year of recognition by the Tree City USA organization, which is a program run by the Arbor Day Foundation and administered in Alabama by the Forestry Commission.