Kingsport celebrates 'our urban forest' with Arbor Day event

Matthew Lane • Mar 2, 2019 at 12:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Three new trees — a maple and two Yoshino cherry trees — have been planted at Lincoln Elementary School in honor of Arbor Day.

Kingsport officials held the city’s 33rd Arbor Day celebration in the auditorium with more than 100 first- and fourth-grade students Friday afternoon. The National Arbor Day Foundation recognized Kingsport as a Tree City USA for the 33rd year in a row.

“Our trees are part of what makes Kingsport such a great place to live,” said city landscape specialist Lewis Bausell. “It’s important to remind our community of that every year.”


To receive the national designation and the Tree City USA flag, a community must meet four standards. It must have:

— A tree advisory board or department.

— A tree care ordinance.

— A comprehensive community forestry program.

— An annual Arbor Day celebration.


Kingsport officials also inducted two new trees into the city’s Notable Tree register, including:

— A 50-foot copper beech located in Fair Acres. The tree has a circumference of more than 129 inches and a crown spread of more than 50 feet in any direction.

—  Seventy white pine trees growing along the fence of J. Fred Johnson Stadium facing Fort Henry Drive. These trees were raised from seedlings and planted by Witt Langstaff Sr., a local nurseryman, more than 30 years ago.

Kingsport’s Streets and Sanitation Department maintains more than 12,000 trees and more than 15 acres of landscaping in the city, while removing damaged or dead trees on public lands and providing annual upkeep of 21 park facilities and 827 acres of green space.

“These programs and partnerships show that Kingsport really values our urban forest,” Bausell said.

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