The Worcester Tree Initiative distributed over 220 trees at Pakachoag Church on Sunday.  The WTI tree planting program addresses tree loss due to the Asian Longhorn Beetle threat.

Last October, WTI held its first Auburn tree distribution event – one of five area communities in the ALB watch area eligible for free trees.  Over 120 trees were distributed at that event.

The 200+ trees on Sunday will likely be the largest giveaway of the season for WTI.  Said Ruth Seward, event coordinator, “We wanted Auburn to be our first event of the year.  It will probably be our biggest event.  We have about 800 trees to distribute this year, and over 200 of those will go today.”

As was the case last fall, WTI also planted three trees on the Pakachoag Church property.  To be eligible for the free trees, recipients must go through a brief planting training session.  This is done with the planting of an actual tree, appropriately enough.  Pakachoag Church is fortunate to have plenty of space around the building to accommodate these plantings.

As was also the case last year, rain accompanied the giveaway.  “I don’t mind the rain” said WTI assistant program coordinator Derek Lirange.  “It is good for the trees” he joked.  But the rain did not keep people away or WTI workers and volunteers from their work.

Dozens of people were trained in the proper planting and care of their new trees, and nearly 100 people brought new trees home to be planted, mostly in Auburn. A good way to jump into spring indeed.