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9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni has welcomed the arrival and planting of the first trees on the Memorial Plaza at the World Trade Center site.

The Swamp White Oak trees planted are the first of about 400 planned for the Memorial Plaza, which features a complex soil supported paving surface and a unique cistern system designed to sustain the urban forest. The trees were carried two by two on flatbed trucks to the World Trade Center site from a nursery in New Jersey, where they have been growing since 2007.

Environmental Design is caring for the trees and coordinated the move and planting on Saturday.  The average height of the trees is currently 30 feet with leaf canopies between 18 feet and 20 feet wide.  They are expected to grow to heights reaching 80 feet.

“The planting of the first trees on the Memorial marks a special moment in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center,”9/11 Memorial Chairman Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. “Over this next year, the trees will continue to be planted in stages as sections of the Memorial Plaza are completed. The Memorial grove consisting of approximately 400 trees will symbolize hope and renewal, and create a vital new green space in the heart of Lower Manhattan. ”

9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said, "These are the first of hundreds of trees that will grace the Memorial’s landscape as a symbol of rebirth at the World Trade Center site. The trees will create a space of reflection, and remembrance apart from the sights and sounds of the City.”

Update: Read more about the landmark tree planting in the New York Daily News or the New York Post. In addition to the CBS broadcast above, here's the story on the CBS New York website, which features a radio report by 1010 WINS.

Staff photographer Amy Dreher spent most of the night and morning photographing the incoming memorial trees. Take a look through her lens.

By Michael Frazier, Sr. Communications Manager of the 9/11 Memorial

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The first of 400 trees planned for 9/11 Memorial's plaza is heading to WTC site (Updated)

Update: Several trees were planted on the memorial plaza on Saturday. Return to The MEMO soon for more pictures and information about the planting. Until then, read this story about this landmark tree move that brought life back to the World Trade Center

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