Tree talk in time for Arbor Day

Apr 27, 2019

ROCHESTER — Gloomy weather did not stop the Arbor Day Ceremony on April 26.

Eagle Scout candidate Dominic Mattera planted two young magnolia trees at Dexter Lane Ballfield in honor of Arbor Day.

Attendees listened as President of the Rochester Land Trust, Matt Monteiro, gave a speech about Arbor Day and Magnolia trees.

Montiero held the ceremony as part of his volunteer work with the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City program.

"Arbor Day is a time to appreciate the trees we have and to plant more for our future enjoyment," Monteiro said during his speech.

Monteiro thoroughly researched magnolias and developed a deep appreciation for their beauty, rich history, and symbolism. He also has magnolia trees of his own, including a male tree he and his wife, Portia Silk, named Wesley. 

Montiero said the blossoms represent nobility, perseverance femininity, gentleness, and love of nature.

Four years ago, Rochester became a Tree City. To qualify as a Tree City, the town must have a tree board or department, tree care ordinance, a forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and hold Arbor Day ceremonies.

"I love magnolia trees. I lived in Colorado, and they don't have them," said Silk, "It's an amazingly versatile species."

Monteiro said people don't often recognize or acknowledge trees because of how widespread they are. 

To him, Arbor Day gives people a chance to develop an appreciation for trees.

"I think it's too easy to take them for granted," said Monteiro, "They do a lot for us."