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Trees Atlanta to Plant 600+ Trees on Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail

Two weeks from now, the newly-opened Eastside Trail on the Atlanta BeltLine will be home to more than 400 large new trees, planted by local non-profit Trees Atlanta alongside the path. Over the next several months, an additional 270 trees will be planted along the trail. The trees are part of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum, which is a botanical garden with a focus on tree collections that loops around the trails, parks, and neighborhoods that comprise the Atlanta BeltLine.

The trees planted in the next two weeks will be large, ranging in size from 2.5-inch caliper to 6-inch caliper and already up to 18 feet tall. Trees of this size require crews and heavy equipment to move and plant.

Unplanted trees

Trees ready for planting along the Eastside Trail. Trees arrive with roots wrapped in burlap. Photo courtesy of Trees Atlanta.

“Planting large trees creates instant impact on the Atlanta BeltLine, both visually and environmentally,” says Co-Executive Director of Trees Atlanta Greg Levine. “With the trail now open to the public, we begin the work of installing trees of various sizes, species, and cultivar, at different points along the trail. Atlanta BeltLine users will experience a diverse tree canopy as they enjoy, exercise, or commute on the trail.”

Over 60 different types of trees will be planted on the Eastside Trail with contractors and equipment. Of these, 17 are magnolia species and cultivars, 20 are oak species and cultivars, and 11 are evergreen. Selections of interest include ‘Cathedral’ live oak, Georgia oak, Bur oak, Pignut hickory, Sassafras, and a couple of yellow-flowering deciduous magnolia hybrids (‘Yellow Lantern’ and ‘Yellow Bird’).

Trees Atlanta will be caring for these trees for five years, which is three years longer than the organization maintains trees in its NeighborWoods and Large Tree programs, which plants trees throughout the city.

“We are thrilled to be working once again with our partner Trees Atlanta,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Chief Operating Officer and interim leader Lisa Gordon. “The trees and landscaping are what will bring the corridor to life, making this great new public space even more special.”

Trees being planted

Heavy machinery is required to plant trees of this size.

On December 15th, Trees Atlanta volunteers will plant more trees on the Eastside Trail – 209 Sassafras trees and 67 long leaf pine trees in sizes ranging from 3- to 7-gallons. More details will be found on www.treesatlanta.org in early December, where potential volunteers can sign up to help with the project. There will be another volunteer opportunity on the Eastside Trail in March, at which time Trees Atlanta will plant native grasses.

In addition to creating and planting the trees on the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum, Trees Atlanta will be leading walking tours of the Arboretum, starting with the Eastside Trail, through its year-round Docent Program. Visitors will be able to sign up for a walking tour through Trees Atlanta or the Atlanta BeltLine. During the 2.25 mile walk, participants will learn about the horticultural points of interest along the Atlanta BeltLine, as well as some Atlanta history pertinent to the area. Tours of Eastside Trail will begin later this fall. For more information, please visit www.treesatlanta.org.

Eastside Trail rendering pre-transit

Before long, the Eastside Trail will look like this rendering, with the beautiful arboretum filling it out.

Join the Discussion

  1. Fred says:

    I have admired the addition of the trees. What an improvement! My concern is that the trees are already showing signs of distress in this dry weather. They appear to need water badly. What provisions are there for keeping them watered?

    Reply | October 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    • Ethan Davidson says:

      Thanks, Fred. The trees really are beautiful. Trees Atlanta is tending to all of the new trees and will be keeping a very close eye on them as they weather this transition.

      Reply | October 25, 2012 at 10:03 am
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