Hello, Spring: Midtown Green Turns Over a New Leaf With Fresh Plants and Trees
More than 20 new trees were recently planted in the district. Next up, a seasonal refresh for the flower beds.
BY ELLIE HENSLEY
After a gray, rainy winter, Midtown Green is welcoming spring to the district with some lush new plants and trees.
Behind the scenes, Midtown’s landscaping and maintenance team works hard to keep the public right of way looking clean and green. This includes looking after nearly 3,000 street trees, as well as many tree wells and medians filled with plant life. Read more below about how Midtown Green and its contractors are getting the district ready for the warmer months.
Bright Pops of Color
Midtown Green’s “seasonal color” program kicks off in April with the aim of refreshing annual flowers in key medians and other focal points in the public right-of-way. Additionally, perennials and shrubs in other unirrigated landscape beds, medians and the Peachtree Bridge on the north end of the district that died over winter or otherwise need a refresh are identified and replaced before the weather gets too hot.
“We select drought resistant plants that can handle vehicle emissions and the heat,” said Milton Jones, Midtown Green director of operations. “We’re trying to make sure that whatever we’ve got lasts so we’re not replacing it every couple of months. We want to have the medians as you’re arriving in Midtown pop. We want everything to look colorful, bright, and welcoming.”
Although tropical plants and annual flowers would look gorgeous blooming in Midtown’s medians, they wouldn’t survive for long. So Midtown Green’s contractor LandCare chooses hardy, drought tolerant plants such as Yucca, Sunshine Ligustrum, Crimson Fire Loropetalum and Liriope spicata. In addition to general planting throughout the district, there are a few specialized areas of enhancements this year to create pops of color, including in the medians at the intersections of Peachtree Street at Ponce de Leon Ave and 15th Street.
Maintaining the City in the Trees
Midtown Green’s contractor Bustos Landscaping also recently planted 23 new trees as part of Midtown Alliance’s tree management program. On average, the program replaces about 15 new trees in the public right-of-way each year. Our urban trees face many challenges including drivers who hit them, vehicle exhaust, small legacy tree wells that constrain growth, disease and damage from dog urine.
New trees were recently planted at locations, including:
- Spring Street at Publix
- Peachtree Street, between North Avenue and Linden Ave, and 12th to 11th Street.
- 8th Street, east of Peachtree Street, and west of Spring Street
- Spring Street, north of North Ave
Once planted, Midtown Green staff supplements water and our consulting arborist monitors the new trees to give them the best chance to thrive in the urban environment.
The work to select which trees are to be planted along Midtown’s primary and secondary corridors was completed by experts and members of the community years ago, during the original Blueprint Midtown planning effort. The district’s Streetscape Plan dictates what species of canopy and understory tree should be planted along which street, which makes them easier to care for and gives them a better chance of survival.
“Through the efforts of private development and Midtown Alliance’s own public improvement projects, we have grown our urban tree canopy in the public right of way of the Midtown Improvement District to approaching 3,000 trees strong,” said Cladie Washburn, landscape architect and Midtown Alliance’s director of capital projects. “We are committed to continuing planting and care for the health and vigor of these trees as investments for many years to come.”
Midtown Alliance is also piloting a new treatment for ailing trees recently hit by vehicles where a healing ointment is placed on the tree bark wound and then covered for a few months to help the tree heal itself.