The planting of a paper birch sapling in Weed's Abner Weed Plaza Friday morning signifies the 18th year Weed has participated in the Tree City USA program through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Weed’s Rob Menzies wore a wide smile as he carefully placed a paper birch sapling in a small, neat hole dug on the Abner Weed Plaza lawn Friday morning, April 27.

“I’m in a good mood today,” Menzies said as he lovingly tamped dirt down around its roots.

The birch’s planting signifies the 18th year Weed has participated in the Tree City USA program through the Arbor Day Foundation.

All but two of the many trees shading Weed’s City Hall were planted as part of the program, Menzies said, reminiscing about when the two large trees directly in front of the building went in.

“It was 1992 or 1993... we have pictures of my kids planting them when they were only about three feet tall,” Menzies said.

“The kids were only three feet tall, too,” laughed his wife, Mary.

In addition to the many trees in the plaza, trees have also been planted in South Weed area, on the Crystal Geyser property and at the Chamber of Commerce. When the Main Street renovation is complete, Menzies said 10 to 12 more trees of mixed species will be planted on those sidewalks.

The Tree City USA program provides direction, technical assistance, public attention and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in towns and cities across the United States.

Weed and Mount Shasta are two of California’s 141 recognized tree cities.

To qualify as a Tree City USA community, a town or city must meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, according to the program’s website. These standards were established to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program.

Every city must have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day Observance (like Friday’s planting ceremony with city staff) and a proclamation.