Greer neighborhood reaping fruit trees

By Anna Lee
Greer, SC (October 23, 2010)- Ines Martin looked over the yard she’s kept
green and tidy for more than 60 years. The Lord always provides, Martin said. She sat in the shade of her front porch, in one of the old Adirondack chairs pushed against the wall. It’s a quiet place on a Friday afternoon, save for the cars that pass by from time to time. Martin waved at the drivers. She knows them all, mostly.

Volunteers from TreesGreenville had just finished planting two young pear trees in Martin’s backyard on Forest Street, and she couldn’t be more pleased. “The Lord always makes a way. We needed them, but we didn’t have enough money to buy them, so the Lord made a way for us to have them given to us,” she said.
Martin’s pear trees are among the 36 saplings planted in the Needmore community Friday thanks to TreesGreenville. The nonprofit group has teamed up with the
Greenville County Redevelopment Authority to plant free shade and fruit trees in affordable housing neighborhoods. They’ve planted dozens of oaks and maples, service berries, plum and pear trees over the last two years.
More than 60 volunteers helped with the Needmore project. Schneider Tree Care donated mulch. Home Depot pitched in with shovels, picks and other tools. “We had more volunteers than we thought we would. Everybody blew through it pretty quickly, and it’s been a fantastic day,” said Joelle Teachey, TreesGreenville executive director.
“People are appreciative because trees are very expensive. The trees that we’re planting, for them to go buy the trees it would be $125, and if you hire somebody to plant it, it’d cost two to three times that,” Teachey said.
The fruit trees in particular have been a hit. Lifelong Needmore resident Sylvia Jones got two plums and a dwarf cherry in her backyard. In a year or two, she’ll be able to pick the fruit off, can them or preserve them. It’s like having her own private fruit garden. “I’m tickled to death,” Jones said.

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