Residents offered discounted trees in Norcross

NORCROSS -- A western Gwinnett city's green canopy will get a boost, thanks to a volunteer program.

The Norcross City Council, along with the Norcross Tree Preservation Board and ImageScapes have a plan to add 100 new trees to the community.

Residents can pay $50 for 12-foot tall, 2-inch caliper oak, maple or elm trees valued at $250 each and ImageScapes will deliver and plant the trees for free.

"The Council and volunteers on the Norcross Tree Board worked together to find a creative way to replace trees that have died over the years from old age, disease, drought, or construction damage," Councilman Charlie Riehm said. "Council agreed to approve the city buying the trees at cost and then matching the $50 the residents are asked to pay. When Blake Manton (fromImageScapes Inc.) volunteered to deliver and plant them, it was a slam dunk."

Norcross has maintained its status as a "Tree City USA community" for seven years. The city also earned the Atlanta Regional Commission's gold level award as a "Green Community" in 2011.

"This is another example of why this is such an exciting community to be part of," Mayor Bucky Johnson said. "The citizens and the city really do partner on making positive things happen -- it's why we're called 'a place to imagine.'"

The city is targeting November for planting time.

The discounted shade trees will be sold to the first 100 applicants that are qualified city residents. Applications are on the city website www.norcrossga.net under Community Development and orders are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to honor someone's memory, celebrate a wedding or anniversary, or give a child or grandchild so they can watch it grow with them and share with the next generation," Johnson said.