PHOTO: Shade Tree Commission Chairwoman Louise I. Donoghue speaking about the selection of the tree to remember John Scott.

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ -  A Frontier Elm was planted in honor of former Atlantic Highlands Shade Tree Commissioner John Scott.

His grandson, Ian Neal, spoke about Mr. Scott's years of service going back to his days in the Seabees and the European invasion during WWII. Mr. Scott served for more than 30 years as the "tree guy" in town - right up until his death at age 93.

PHOTO: Ian Neal speaks about his grandfather, John Scott.

Lee Hoffman remembered Mr. Scott caring for not only the street trees, but would pay personal attention to what neighbors were doing with the trees in their yards and offer advice and assistance.  Even at age 91, said Hoffman, Mr. Scott was up on a ladder trimming dead limbs from a tree on his church lot.

Shade Tree Commission Chairwoman,  Louise I. Donoghue, explained that the tree selected for planting, a Frontier Elm tree is an American Elm hybrid and is resilient to salt water and does well in our climate.  The American Elm suffered from disease in the second half of the 20th Century and was nearly wiped out.  Some effort is being made to reintroduce the species. 

PHOTO: Ian Neal and AH Council President Roy Dellosso (right) shovel dirt around the root ball of the tree being held by borough employees.

Co-Chairwoman Marilyn Scherfen said this planting will be the first of many along Hennesey Boulevard in the borough.

We celebrate Arbor Day thanks to J. Sterling Morton, of the Morton Salt family.  Morton, was a newspaper publisher who encouraged the planting of trees in his home state of Nebraska as a means of supporting soil, shade from the sun and for harvesting wood for fuel and building.   In 1874, Nebraska was the first state to adopt Arbor Day.  More states followed in the 1880s.  Today, the last Friday in April is declared National Arbor Day.

To celebrate Arbor Day 2015, The Atlantic Highlands Shade Tree Commission is offering free Norway Spruce Tublings. They will be left on Louise Donoghue's front porch at 49 East Mount Avenue. Please help yourself.