Drives around Howell these days are decorated by white dogwoods* in their spring-blossom splendor.
Clustered around parking lots, standing tall along Sibley Street and Michigan Avenue, popping up in yards all over town, all gorgeously festooned with their white blossoms, these beautiful trees have quickly become an area favorite.
Not everyone was originally on board with some of the more recent public plantings. There was a great hue and cry from some about the dogwoods being planted along Sibley Street during its recent reconstruction. Those who spoke out against the trees worried that the city was wasting taxpayer money on too many trees being planted too close together.
I chalk up a lot of the complaints about the Sibley Street trees with the general grumbling that accompanies any construction project in the city. The trees were, and continue to be, a beautiful bargain of well-spent taxpayer dough: the trees planted were older than most new-construction trees, a bargain the city snapped up when new home construction took a dive and nurseries found themselves with a backlog of the beauties.
I’m betting those who dissed the city’s plans back then are admiring the trees this spring. Like a good public works project should, these trees have turned the once-average Sibley Street into a showplace.
* EDITOR’S NOTE: I stand corrected! The trees I’ve been admiring aren’t flowering dogwoods. They’re Bradford pear trees.