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Swampscott to plant 40 shade trees in the next year

SWAMPSCOTT — The town will double how many shade trees it will plant in the next year, which are meant to replace those lost to disease or windstorms.

Typically, the town plants 20 shade trees on its streets annually at a cost of $4,000. But the town was able to find an additional $4,000 in its budget to plant 20 more trees. The plantings will occur this fall and next spring, according to Gino Cresta, department of public works director.

“We try to remember the trees produce (oxygen), which is essential,” Cresta said. “(They) cool things down and it beautifies the town as well.”

Cresta said there are 3,000 shade trees in town, and the new trees planted will be planted in all different areas of town.

“This will basically wipe out our tree planting waiting list,” Cresta said. “This is just a list of people who have requested trees over the years.”

Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald said the trees make for cleaner air and groundwater and provide habitats for lots of birds.

“We’re always just looking to have a streetscape that really has a diverse tree lining that’s consistent with the Olmstead District,” Fitzgerald said. “We really want streetscapes to look great, but support some of the broader goals of environmental stewardships.”

Fitzgerald said in addition to planting different species of trees for diversity in town, the town also has to take into consideration that different trees can’t be planted on the waterfront because salt from the air and ocean would negatively impact certain species. Trees with resistance to that would have to be planted on the waterfront.

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