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The sun was already scorching at 8:30 this morning at the University of Arizona, where guests huddled together to avoid the blaring rays and to pay tribute to the wide variety of trees on campus.

The UA Campus Arboretum dedicated the 2014 Arbor Day Tree - a red push pistache - a few days early, on Earth Day, in recognition of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rotschild’s 10,000 Trees Campaign.

Rotschild launched the campaign six months ago, and almost 5,500 trees have been planted around the city under the program since.

“We’re a little ahead of schedule but we’ve got to keep it up – especially during the summer time," he said.

Tucson Electric Power customers who want to participate in the 10,000 Trees initiative can purchase native tree species for $8 at tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org.