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Superior council OKs discounts on tribute trees

Donors who pay for five or more trees without a plaque or ceremony can pay market rate for the trees.

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Superior Mayor Jim Paine, fourth from right, holds onto one of the tribute trees planted along East Second Street by Barkers Island Inn following a dedication ceremony in 2017. He is surrounded by Rotarians and others who represent the organizations and people honored by the trees.
Maria Lockwood / File / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — The city's Tribute Tree program has long provided the public with a way to recognize, memorialize and honor people and events while contributing to the city’s green canopy.

Now people who buy five or more trees, but don’t want recognition for the contribution, can help at a discounted rate.

The Superior City Council approved a change in the Tribute Tree program Tuesday, Sept. 20, that will allow the city’s parks, recreation and forestry department to sell the 1½-inch trees at market rate when five or more are purchased and no plaque or ceremony is required by the donor.

The market rate is determined by the average cost of trees ordered in the city’s annual bid, said Linda Cadotte, parks, recreation and forestry director. While the cost varies from year-to-year, she said recent bids have averaged $75 to $80 per year. Some years the bids have been higher.

Cadotte said the urban forestry tree board recommended using the market rate rather than dealing with numbers or percentages on an annual basis to determine the discount. The city is not able to discount the cost of 3-inch diameter trees because those are much more expensive, she said.

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Through the Tribute Tree program, residents can purchase a 1½-inch diameter tree for $200 or a 3-inch diameter tree for $350 from a dozen species suited for the city’s clay soil base. The donation is tax deductible, and the trees are guaranteed for one year. If the tree fails in the first year, the city will replace it at no cost to the donor.

The donor selects the boulevard, neighborhood or park where they would like to have the tree planted. In late spring, between May 1 and June 15, city crews plant the tree. The donor or recipient of the donation receives a Tribute Tree certificate signed by the mayor, and the city hosts a dedication ceremony that includes a custom plaque.

Councilor Ruth Ludwig, chair of the tree board, urged the council to support the discounted option.

“It does take less administrative time if we don’t have to have a ceremony or order a plaque,” Ludwig said.

For information about the program, call 715-395-7270 or visit ci.superior.wi.us .

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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