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April 13, 2013

Expert to assess Thomasville’s tree canopy

THOMASVILLE — The Live Oak Society, a program of Thomasville Landmarks, has retained the services of certified arborist Jerry Holcomb to assess live oaks and other trees along public rights of way in historic areas of Thomasville.

 Monday through Friday, Holcomb will ride designated streets in a golf cart.

 Holcomb has identified more than 650 trees he will inventory and assess. Each tree will be marked with a blue tag, and its GPS coordinates will be recorded.

 “He will focus primarily on Dawson Street, South Hansell Street, Broad Street, Bartow Street, Remington Avenue, Clay Street, Madison Street, the Paradise Park area and other areas with significant old tree canopies,” said Brent Runyon, Thomasville Landmarks executive director.

 Once the assessment is completed, a treatment plan and budget will be created. Information gathered will be shared with the city, which is in the process of putting all right of way information into its GIS system.

 In addition, the Live Oak Society is interested in assisting the city and interested homeowners in beautifying the city through the planting and appropriate trimming of trees.

 The Live Oak Society was founded in 1988, and gained traction with principal support from Maury Flowers Shields.

 “It was a great success, planting almost 400 trees in its first two years,” Runyon said.

 Some of the prominent locations are the drive leading to the Cultural Center, those at Flowers Park near U.S. 19 South, a section of Pine Tree Boulevard and at Thomas University.

 Most recently, funds were used to help the city win a Preserve America grant to plan a multiuse recreational trail and create signs for historic landmarks.

 From its inception, interested citizens were asked to “adopt” trees. The adoption program is on hold until a planting plan can be created.

 Thomasville Landmarks is a non-profit, member-supported organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of the architecture, history and heritage of the Thomas County area.

 The community is encouraged to join Landmarks and become a supporter. For more information, visit www.ThomasvilleLandmarks.org.

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