Planting seeds of remembrance

Moorestown’s Tree Planting and Preservation Committee would like to get the word out about their Tree Remembrance Program, a great way to honor a loved one while helping to beautify your town.

Moorestown’s Tree Planting and Preservation Committee is committed to boosting the township’s tree canopy. It has implemented several programs to supplement its budget and turn this goal into a reality. One such effort is the Tree Remembrance Program.

Although it is not new, the committee has recently updated information available about the program, hoping to get the word out about how residents can donate money to bettering their community and doing so in honor or remembrance of someone special to them.

“Trees are important to people in Moorestown and the remembrance program is basically in celebration of happy or sad times, it’s a good way to remember someone,” said Tree Planting and Preservation Committee member Kathy Logue.

A donation to the committee in any amount will be used to supplement Moorestown’s tree planting program, says Logue. Donations can be made in someone’s honor and all donors receive a certificate to commemorate their gift.

If a donor would like to have a memorial tree planted, due to varying costs of trees by type, they must cover the cost of the tree and its installation. Requests for memorial trees to be planted in the township must be made in writing, discussed with and approved by the township manager.

A plaque may also be added to the base of the tree, however the cost of the plaque, its installation and maintenance must also be covered by the requestor.

“Trees take a while to grow but they are a living representation of that person. It’s a nice place to go and visit,” said Logue.

This year, several remembrance trees were planted at the Perkins Center for the Arts during Moorestown’s annual Arbor Day celebration.

A pink dogwood tree was planted in celebration of a young resident, Elliot Napolitano, whose parents wanted to celebrate her birth with a special tree in her honor. A white dogwood was planted in memory of someone who had passed, and a rising sun redbud was planted near the entrance of the center in celebration of Appearance Committee Chair Karen Chigounis’ retirement.

“We try to pick the right tree for that person in the right spot,” said Logue. “You don’t plant an oak tree under telephone wires. While we love the shade, we plant them in open park areas.”

The committee generally orders trees in January and plants in the spring, according to Logue, so any requests made after the initial tree order in January will not be planted until spring of the following year. Logue suggests planning ahead and making spring requests early in the winter.

Currently, a primary goal for the tree committee that is being aided by these donations, is the replacement of several street trees, according to Logue.

After a discovery that a non-native insect pest that infests and kills ash trees, the emerald ash borer, had made its way to Moorestown, the committee has been working to identify affected trees so that public works can step in to determine whether it needs to be removed and replaced.

“The township does a lot for trees every year, but our remembrance fund helps supplement that,” said Logue.

For more information on the Tree Planting and Preservation Committee, visit moorestown.nj.us and click on the Tree Planting and Preservation link under the Government tab. If you are interested in a remembrance tree, call the township manager at (856) 235-0912.