Cherry trees planted in Third Street Park

As Macon’s famed Yoshino cherry trees are ending their life cycle in downtown Macon, the city’s parks and recreation department is planting replacements.

Through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 17 new trees are being planted in the park that creates a beautiful canopy over the side walk in the downtown median.

Marie Jones, assistant director of the Macon Parks and Recreation Department, said the trees are being planted in stages to prevent them from dying at the same time.

The current trees have been dying and succumbing to disease in recent years. Several of them have been cut back or removed leaving gaping holes in the walkway.

Several supporters of the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival and the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission gathered at the park Thursday morning to celebrate the resurgence of Macon’s signature trees.