Crossword Genius

Trees planted in middle of Seattle initially (2,5)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

at first

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But I can't explain it at all! Could you help me understand?

(Other definitions for at first that I've seen before include "In the beginning, initially" , "To begin with" , "Originally" , "In the beginning, to start with" .)

I've seen this clue in The Telegraph.
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