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Aspinwall officials: please water the trees

Tawnya Panizzi
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 2:27 p.m.
New trees line the streets in Aspinwall, thanks to a grant from TreeVitalize.
New trees line the streets in Aspinwall, thanks to a grant from TreeVitalize.

The prolonged summer-like weather might be a perk but Aspinwall officials said it's creating a critical situation for the trees that line borough sidewalks.

“The weather has been hot with no rain and the forecast looks to be much of the same,” Borough Manager Melissa Lang-O'Malley said.

This past weekend brought some brief relief with rainfall from Tropical Depression Nate, but the National Weather Service website calls for minimal precipitation over the next two weeks.

Borough officials posted a “critical watering alert” on its website, asking residents to make sure trees and shrubs near each home get a drink.

O'Malley said it's particularly important for the 25 trees that were planted last year through a grant from TreeVitalize, a group that works to restore trees across the region.

Founded in 2004, TreeVitalize has planted more than 20,000 trees in the Pittsburgh area to ease stormwater runoff and provide cover, in addition to beautifying residential streets. O'Malley said she received about 40 requests from residents who wanted trees planted by their homes in 2016.

The borough was awarded a TreeVitalize grant again this year through which 30 saplings will be planted near the community park along Field Avenue and near homes of residents who requested them.

O'Malley said mature trees are a hallmark of the borough but they do more than spruce up the sidewalks. They help to clean the air and control stormwater, she said.

“With the new plantings, trees need to be continuously watered,” she said.

Even established trees can suffer during periods of prolonged heat and drought, she added. “Remember to water trees slowly to ensure the water percolates down through the soil to where the roots need it most,” she said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or @tawnyatrib.

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