Media Advisory: Unique Highway Tree Planting Project Kicks Off Tomorrow (6/2) in Gahanna

June 1, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Reporters are invited tomorrow (6/2) at 10 a.m. to the kickoff of “Greening the Highways” -- a binational project that seeks to increase the survival rate and environmental benefits of trees planted in urban areas in Ontario, Canada, and Ohio.

The project’s first tree planting in Ohio will take place in Gahanna, at the intersection of I-270 South and Hamilton Road. Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ontario’s Vineland Research and Innovation Centre are leading this initiative.

Improving the methods used to grow and establish trees for planting in stressful urban sites is crucial for their survival, said project leader and Ohio State horticulture specialist Hannah Mathers. Of the 2 million trees the Ohio Department of Transportation plants along highways every year, less than 10 percent survive. And even in low-stress urban areas, only 60 percent of trees survive the first five years.

“The issue of tree survival and longevity is key, because urban trees provide their most environmental benefits, such as removing dust particles and carbon monoxide from the air, when they make it to a maturity of 20 or more years,” Mathers said.

For more information, contact Mauricio Espinoza at 330-621-6541 or Mathers at 614-371-0886.

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