With the recent celebration of Arbor Day in Coral Gables, it is important to share the value that trees have in the city’s current life and history. Known as a garden city, Coral Gables has been designated as a Tree City USA for the past 34 years.
In the early 1900s, city founder George Merrick first planted guava trees on the family’s homestead. In 1901, George’s mother Althea named as “Guavonia School” the rustic cabin where her younger children received an education, becoming the first public school west of Coconut Grove.
The aesthetically pleasing landscape of the city of Coral Gables can be attributed to Frank M. Button, the city’s first landscape architect. Ninety four years later, Coral Gables is filled with tree-lined boulevards, green canopies and beautifully landscaped public parks and plazas.
Still to this day, city leaders continue to emphasize the prominence of trees and the importance of living surrounded by a mature urban forest. To accomplish this, city staff conducts an ongoing maintenance program for the more than 38,000 trees by pruning healthy trees, removing hazardous ones and replacing them with appropriate species that are just right for neighborhoods. With feedback from the community, the city strive’s to keep a balance between preserving aging trees and planting new ones that continue Coral Gables’ rich legacy.