Charlie Proutt, Sue Smith and former CCS student Claire Dillenbeck plant a tree at CCS on May 5. Photo by Mark Dillenbeck

Linda Hamilton | Contributor

For more than 25 years, Charlie Proutt of Horsford Nursery has donated and, with the help of the students, has planted trees at Charlotte Central School in a fun and informative celebration of Arbor Day. This year was no exception, despite the persistent rain. Thanks to Charlie, with support from Tree Warden Mark Dillenbeck and Deputy Tree Warden Sue Smith, a sturdy swamp white oak was planted at the school on May 5. Because the students did not all have rain gear with them, they stayed inside and anticipate meeting with Charlie, Mark and Sue at another time to talk about trees together. Charlie says the students have not been “rained in” on Arbor Day since 1995.

Later on May 5, a special tree was also planted on the Town Green. It is a 10-year-old bur oak generously donated by Charlie Proutt. It is the Charlotte Tree Fund’s Memorial Tree in honor of former Tree Warden Larry Hamilton, who died in October last year. The tree team that oversees the fund hopes that this public shade tree will be appreciated and loved and will serve as a fitting tribute to Larry for his many contributions to the town. Larry lived to be 91; this bur oak may live to be 400 to 500 years old!

Friends gather to bless the planting of the Larry Hamilton Memorial Tree at Town Hall on May 5. Terry Dinnan (from left), Charlie Proutt, Lane Morrison, Marty Illick, Owen Clay, Sue Smith, Carol Clay, Carol Hanley, Bunky Bernstein and Linda Hamilton. Photo by Mark Dillenbeck