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The trees of Shelburne Road

SHELBURNE Picture this, all you drivers up and down, up and down Shelburne Road: There are some 1,000 trees and shrubs along the sidewalks and median strip, all blooming in blue and pink, yellow, green, gold and white. Then in the summer its a canopy of green leaves. And with autumn there is the gold and purple and scarlet of the fading foliage. Its all coming true, said Richard Lowe, owner of the contracting firm, Green Mountain Landscaping of Morrisville. He explained there are some 600 trees of many varieties oak, maple, spruce, elm, crabapple, pear, apple. If youre getting hungry for apples or pears or crabapple jelly, forget it there are blossoms but no fruit. Digging the holes and preparing the soil for all the plantings was a mammoth job, said Lowe. Each hole for the trees was dug 20 feet deep and four feet wide. Eight to 10 yards of top soil was spread in each cavity, and an estimated 8,000 yards of top soil was needed. Then add the fertilizer on top of that. The trees had a low mortality over the winter, said Lowe. Only three died, but about 10 were flattened by motorists. Drivers also wonder about the effect of salt on the trees and shrubs. Lowe said the Shelburne Road plantings are salt tolerant. Trees and shrubs clean the air of gasoline pollutants, he added. Millions of trees are being planted world-wide for this purpose. Jane Brown, landscape specialist with the Vermont State Highway Department, said the goal of the plantings was to create a parkway to and from Burlington that was colorful, inviting and shady. She believes that was accomplished.

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