Celebrating life through the trees

POULSBO — FTD’s motto is, “Say it with flowers.” But in Poulsbo it’s, “Say it with a tree.”

Starting this week, folks in Little Norway can celebrate a special occasion or honor a friend or loved one by adding a little bit of green to the city. For about $150-$200 the city will plant and maintain a tree in someone’s honor that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

The Celebration Tree Program got underway last week with a nod from the city council, but it’s been in the works with the Poulsbo Tree Board for about a year. The idea came from a Poulsbo resident, who approached the city about a public way to honor a neighbor who had passed away. That resident has since moved on to other projects, but the idea has lived on.

“Other cities have programs like this and we thought it sounded like a good thing,” said Mary McCluskey, director of Poulsbo Parks and Recreation. “The tree board deserves all the kudos for the work, though.”

Once residents have applied for a celebration tree, the city’s arborist will meet with them to discuss options in terms of types of trees and areas they can be planted. McCluskey said trees may be located in parks, public right-of-ways and at some points along roads where trees are appropriate. Loved ones have the option of paying a little extra and also having a plaque accompany the planting.

Once a tree and a location are determined, the city will set a planting date. Planting dates will be chosen according to the wettest times of year to assure the tree has the best chances of survival.

“If they called today we’d tell them we’d work on it but we won’t do a planting until the fall,” McCluskey said. “It’s okay to plant right now at a home where you can be there to water it every day, but in the city where there are other plants to take care of it just wouldn’t work.”

For more information about the Celebration Tree Program, call (360) 779-9898.

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