Greenport cherry blossom tour in the works — and locals can help

A blossoming cherry tree spotted on the North Fork. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A blossoming cherry tree spotted on the North Fork. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Imagine exploring Greenport Village on a warm spring day, a map of where to find the village’s prettiest pink-petaled trees in hand.

The Greenport Village Tree Committee is seeking to document Greenport’s flowering street trees, especially those stunning cherry blossoms, for an online guide — and it needs your help. The group hopes it may result next year in a “Cherry Blossom Festival” walking, bike or car tour.

“You will get a more complete view of the village rather than just (Greenport’s main commercial street) Front Street,” tree committee chairman John Quinlan said of plans for a tour. “If we could get this map together, it would be very walkable.”

Hundreds of Greenport trees are at their peak typically between May 1 and May 10, Quinlan said.

Member Jane Ratsey Williams is looking for volunteers to “adopt” their Greenport blocks, identifying and providing information on all flowering trees and their locations.

Forms will be available at Village Hall, Floyd Memorial Library and The Market. Tree Committee member Polly Dixon will create the map.

“We’d like to help residents and visitors find every fleeting blossom,” the committee said in a press release. “By next spring we will have all you need for a most enjoyable family venture, or hopefully, many tours around our cherished flowering trees.”

In other news, for the 12th time, Greenport Village has been named a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. The tree committee has received a $12,000 grant the state Department of Environmental Conservation to be used for the addition of new trees in the village.

The Tree City USA program provides a framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across the nation. Towns can achieve Tree City USA status by meeting core standards: sound urban forestry management, maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

Just be sure to visit the village before a late spring storm wipes away the vibrant petals, leaving them in colorful heaps on the streets.

“There’s pink snow,” Quinlan said. “You have to come out and shovel the petals.”