The grounds at the Lehighton Area Middle School will look even better next spring when the beautiful pink dogwood that was planted in celebration of Arbor Day begins blooming.

The dogwood, along with the arborvitae and American holly, were planted by students at the school's Enviro Center, which is located adjacent to the school.

Joe Yescavage, 7th grade science teacher, said that this is the 14th year the students have celebrated Arbor Day at the school by planting trees in the Enviro Center and it is the 10th year that PPL has sponsored the program and provided seedlings for the students to take home to plant.

Frank Snyder, district forester with the state Department of Community and Natural Resources, assisted with the planting of the trees. Snyder explained that the roots of the tree are wrapped in burlap and surrounded by a wire basket to support them. He noted that the hole must be as nearly as deep as the balled roots are measured but that the tree should not be planted deeper than the root ball.

"Handle it gently and rip off the burlap at the top and remove or bend back the top third of the wire basket to give the roots room to grow," said Snyder.

Snyder reminded the students that when they go to plant their seedling they need to look overhead so as to not plant the tree under power lines.

"The seedling should be planted at least 20 to 30 feet away from a service line," said Snyder.

As part of the program, Mayor Donald Rehrig, issued a proclamation proclaiming April 30. 2010 Arbor Day in the borough of Lehighton.

Rehrig said that he urges the citizens to support efforts to protect the trees and woodlands and to support the borough's urban forestry program.

"I further urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the hearts and to promote the well being of present and future generations," the mayor said.

Lehighton has been designated a Tree City USA for 17 years. Lehighton is the oldest tree city in the area. Summit Hill and Weatherly are also tree cities, both at five years.