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City, Manteca Garden Club plant 6 more trees by library

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POSTED April 29, 2013 1:09 a.m.



The number of trees in public places in Manteca grew by a half-dozen on Friday. At last count, there were approximately 17,000 of these city-maintained trees, said Park Operations Manager and city arborist Kevin Fant during the annual Arbor Day tree planting which took place at the Manteca Public Library Friday morning.

It is for that reason the Family City has once again earned the title of Tree City USA for the 22nd year in a row.

The newest tree additions were six Oklahoma Redbuds which were jointly planted by city crews and members of the Manteca Garden Club which donated three of the trees in memory of its members who have recently passed away – Gussie Cabral, Russ Jones, and Ginger Admire. The trees were hand-picked by their family members.

The 15-gallon trees were planted along the west wall of the library. They are part of the overall replanting being done in this area facing the parking lot and Library Park. The redbuds were selected “because they’re going to stay small and they will stay nice and compact,” Fant explained.

The redbuds were also an excellent choice because the leaves don’t fade into a dull brown color in summer, he said.

“They will stay glossy like that,” he added, touching the palmate leaves of one of the potted trees waiting to be planted.

The leaves remain green in spring and summer. In the spring, the trees will burst into a riot of bright pink blossoms. And in the fall, the foliage will turn yellow,” Fant said.

They are also low-maintenance, and are very drought-tolerant once established, and frost-tolerant.

“They are very hardy. Frost and wind don’t hurt them. And they top at about 15 feet,” added Fant.

As part of the re-landscaping, the old mayten tree and the xylosma and raphiolepis shrubs were removed and were replaced by the more colorful barberry hedge-plant variety.

Fant said this is about  the fifth year the garden club and the city have celebrated Arbor Day with a tree-planting ceremony. Similar events in previous years have taken place in the area behind the Civic Center, Woodward Park, at the Morenzone Park in front of the Manteca Golf Course on South Union Road, and in front of the public library on Center Street.

“It’s a huge help to the city,” Fant said of the garden club’s contribution to the city’s community beautification projects.

The tree planting, with the help of Fant and his staff, were done by the families of the club members who were being memorialized. Family members of the late Gussie Cabral, a charter member of the club, who came to plant the tree were Gussie’s younger brother Art Cabral, his wife Celeste and their son Kevin, and nephews Darryl and Tim Cabral, sons of the late Sadie Cabral of Sadie’s Hair Salon.

Present to honor the late Russ Jones was wife Marilyn, also a member of the club. “He’d be very proud,” Marilyn said of the tree planted in her late husband’s memory.

Wielding shovels to plant the redbud for the late Ginger Admire were his daughters Cathy Smith and Gail Admire of Manteca. The ceremony was poignant for the sisters who fondly reminisced about their mother’s love of gardening.

“You ought to see her yard. She loved her garden,” Cathy Smith said of their mother who died on New Year’s Eve, the day before her 87th birthday.

Contact Rose Albano Risso at ralbanorisso@mantecabulletin.com or at (209) 249-3536.

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