WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Spring is in full bloom across the region and the City of Watertown just wrapped up a huge tree-planting project.

This was through a volunteer project that involved plantings at two parts of the park. One at the upper part of the part that focused on preventing the invasive species, and the other down near the traffic circle to renew the landscape.

At the same, the City led its annual spring tree planting effort from May 2 to May 6. This focused on enhancing the canopy along many Watertown streets and replacing trees that had to be taken down.

In total, the Department of Public Works planted 71 trees in various locations.

According to Watertown City Planner Michael DeMarco, there are ongoing threats to Watertown’s trees including invasive species such as the Emerald Ash Borer, road salt and drought conditions.

But a solution to these threats is promoting biodiversity.

“By having a variety of trees. It really helps with issues such as invasive species,” DeMarco said. “We saw this years and years ago with the Elm trees. Most cities throughout the US.. had Elms, and in most of these areas, they were over planted monocultures, meaning the same species kind of planted all down one side of the street or in one section of a park.

“And they’re all gone, for the most part. That has to do with a lack of biodiversity,” he added.

For these recent projects, Watertown chose several species of new trees to plant including Scarlett Oak, Sugar Maple and Purple Leaf Catalpa.

DeMarco concluded by saying, the more healthy trees in the city, the better.

“We want to make sure that we’re always re-introducing canopy to our streets, parks and playgrounds when the unfortunate time comes when we have to remove a tree,” he shared.

To promote tree growth, the CIty of Watertown is partnering with SLELO to launch an adopt-a-tree program. This will allow local residents to claim a tree throughout the City.

For more information call the City of Watertown Planning Department at 315-785-7741 or planning@watertown-ny.gov.