The Impact of a pandemic on the health of our trees

Helping our trees and FoNT 

Photo by Craig Vodnik
Allies and Partners

Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental stewardship and addressing the impact of COVID-19. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards.

Support from the community

Friends of Newburyport Trees (FoNT) needs support from the community to address the impact of the current pandemic on our neighborhood trees. Trees that contribute to the health of our local environment. Many activities we had planned in April around Earth Day and Arbor Day had to be cancelled. We are trying our best to keep working until next spring’s planting season.

Helping the trees and FoNT

Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a stop to all our outreach efforts with the Newburyport community. Our main project each spring in conjunction with the Tree Commission is pruning and mulching of trees that have been planted over the past few years. It is important for young trees to be limbed up out of the way of pedestrians and street traffic, and to correct any tree imperfections – broken branches, water sprouts (branches which grow straight up), rubbing and crossing branches.

It is harder to raise funds when we are not visibly undertaking tree work in the community. So we held a mini Arbor Day celebration on Oct. 3 with a small tree planting at the Library and a book display on trees in order to remind the community that FoNT is active, thinking about the future, and needs support.

Our popular Guide to Newburyport Trees is available for purchase for $20. All funds donated to FoNT are tax deductible and help grow and maintain Newburyport’s healthy urban forest. Learn more at

Jean Berger is as Massachusetts certified arborist and FoNT Board member. Reach her by email at

To learn more about ACES and its stewardship Initiatives:

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about the author
Jean Berger

Jean Berger has always enjoyed getting her hands in the soil. Gardening was a way to relax when she worked in public relations in England and then in fundraising in NJ and MA. After getting her Associates Degree in Horticulture and becoming a MA Certified Arborist in 2007, she started Green Jean’s Design and Horticulture Services.  She is currently a Board Member of Friends of Newburyport Trees and has been involved in planting and pruning Newburyport city trees for eight years.

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