In Their Own Words: Henry Hughes

Homewood Contract Arborist and Leader of the Centennial Tree Project
Homewood contract arborist and leader of the Centennial Tree Project Henry Hughes talks about the role trees play in making our community vibrant and beautiful.

Homewood Contract Arborist and Leader of the Centennial Tree Project

By Sarah Campbell | Photo by Catherine Mayo

On the origins of the Centennial Tree Project (named for the 100th anniversary nationwide of the Garden Clubs of America) in 2009:

“I think it’s important that as cities expand and we plant trees where we need trees, where development is inevitable, basically, we should plant trees that are of a local seed source so they are synchronized with the rest of the forest. The diversity of the forest translates also to the diversity of the insects and birds and all of the other animals too.

“If you think of the name ‘Homewood,’ it’s named after the woods.”

“In Homewood, we have harvested native trees from the Homewood Forest Preserve. When we do a planting, we try to plant back fairly close to where the trees were harvested as seed and then grown into seedlings. So we’ve planted a lot of trees along Shades Creek with the Homewood Environmental Commission and Samford University. This will be our fifth year. We’ve planted about 1,000 trees along Shades Creek. On the creek side, we plant to help control erosion, and on the other side, we plant more floodplain trees. We’ve had a 90% success rate [at that site].

“Urban trees provide a lot of services for the community. They help control erosion, they provide shade which reduces energy costs, and they’re aesthetically pleasing. If you think of the name ‘Homewood,’ it’s named after the woods.”
Learn more and get involved with the Centennial Tree Project and the Homewood Environmental Commission.

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