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Trees replaced in downtown Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — Houlton’s Historic Downtown underwent a bit of a makeover last week as the town planted several new trees in Market Square.

A total of 10 trees were removed from the south side of the downtown and replaced with a different species in the hopes they would thrive.

The trees were first planted in May 2015 as part of a Project Canopy grant. A total of 25 Japanese lilacs were planted throughout the downtown to replace oak trees that had grown too large for the area.

“We made the decision to change out the trees on the south side because they were just not thriving,” Jane Torres, executive director for the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce, said Monday. “We think it was a combination of poor rootstock and the lack of light.”

Torres said there was a small amount of money left over in the Project Canopy grant, which the town received back in 2015. Additional funds were provided by the Aaron and Mariah Putnam Trust to fully cover the expense.

Members of the town’s public works department removed the existing trees and helped plant the new ones with the assistance of Maine Forestry Warden Dan Jacobs.

Torres said the new trees are Hornbeam, Karpick Maple, and two Cherry trees that were spaced out throughout the downtown.

“It’s always good to get a cross representation of tree so that one disease does not come through and wipe them all out,” Torres said. “That was our worry with the Green Ash trees that were originally downtown.”

She cautioned members of the public from pulling or hanging on the new trees, for fear of causing irreparable damage. The trees will be maintained by the town’s public works department, along with the assistance of Jacobs.

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