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New trees planted in downtown Canton

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CANTON — They don’t have leaves yet, but trees have returned to downtown Canton.

Several new trees were planted Wednesday along both sides of Main Street, replacing older trees that were cut down last May when state highway workers started the Route 11 reconstruction project.

The fledgling trees, about 12 to 14 feet tall, were planted by crews from North Country Garden Center, Plattsburgh, the subcontractor hired for the project’s landscape work.

“This is the ideal time to be planting,” said Jonathan M. Adams, a landscape architect with the state Department of Transportation. “The trees are freshly dug and the temperature is mild so the trees are not getting stressed by heat.”

Altogether, about 130 trees will be planted over the next several days, including 46 in the downtown business area and another 84 in the residential section of East Main Street that extends from Park Street to Stiles Avenue.

The planting is supposed to finish on Tuesday.

The landscape portion of the $9.55 million DOT project cost roughly $160,000 said Thomas A. Maroun, project engineer with the state Department of Transportation.

The north side of Main Street will be lined with honey locust, Princeton elms and Japanese tree lilacs. The south side features honey locust and hackberry trees.

Mr. Adams said the Amur maples that were originally selected for downtown were not available so the elm trees were chosen as replacements because they are disease tolerant.

Trees in the residential area scheduled to be planted Monday and Tuesday, including sugar maple, horse chestnut, red maple, red oak, service berry and Norway spruce trees.

Although the young trees are much smaller than the mature trees that were removed, Mr. Adams said they provide a noticeable improvement.

“They don’t have leaves yet, but I think people are going to notice a difference. It will take time,” Mr. Adams said. “We’re confident we planted the right trees in the right places.”

Meanwhile, the road reconstruction work continues. This season crews will replace underground water and sewer pipes from Park Street to Stiles Avenue. Many of the metal hand railings have been installed in front of downtown businesses, but a few more are still needed.

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