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‘Twas the day before Arbor Day, when all through the park
Not a creature was stirring, no chirp, squeak, or bark;
The birds were perched on the utility wires with care,
In hopes that many trees soon would be there;

All types of squirrels, gray, fox, and red;
Had visions of oak trees dancing in their head;
And mamma with her overalls, and I my work jeans,
Were prepared and ready to make the park green,

When out in the park there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my window to see what was the matter.
Away out my door I flew like a flash,
Running to the crowd that was gathered ‘round the ash.

The dead looking tree with no leaves to show,
Gave a glimmer of midday through its branches to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes came ‘round the corner with ease,
But a miniature truck and in the bed, eight tiny trees,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Mayor Nick.
The trees looking so healthy and flourishing as they came,
He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“White Oak! Red Cedar! Silver Maple and Black Cherry!
Cottonwood, Black Walnut, American Beech and Hackberry!
It is time to grab your gloves, shovels, and spades!” He did call,
“Now plant away! Plant away! Plant away all!”

With his blueprints out he started to show,
Where in the park each tree would go;
So excited and anxious with all my gear I flew
To the truck full of trees, and Mayor Nicolas too.

And then, in a moment, I heard on the road
The roaring of more trucks with trees overflowed.
As I lifted my head, and was turning around,
The city forester and many arborists came with a bound.

Mayor Nick had called in the professionals to help us out,
So we all would understand what this project was all about.
“Before we start planting, I want to explain
the benefits from these trees the city will gain!

Trees increase property value and improve living conditions.
They also relieve stress and help with CO2 emissions.
Better air and water quality, and sound barriers, too,
And the best part is the beautiful new view!”

After Mayor Nick’s speech, the city forester stepped in
“Whose ready to plant some trees?” He said with a grin.
The crowd cheered and the project was now on its way
Making the park beautiful and green in honor of Arbor Day.

First thing we had to do, was remove the dead trees.
The park was originally filled with ash, which was a feast for EAB.
The arborists cut all the trees down one by one.
There was so much help, in no time the cleanup was done.

As we finally started planting, the professionals came around
Making sure we were putting the trees properly into the ground.
I learned that you cut and remove only 1/3-1/2 of the B&B,
Then, you check the roots, the most important part of the tree.

If the tree has spiraling roots, all four sides must be sawed,
So the tree’s way of nutrient uptake and anchorage is not flawed.
It is also important that the root flare is not below the soil line,
Many people tend to bury it, thinking their tree will be fine.

Before planting your tree, consider the tree’s full-grown size.
Improper planting can cause the tree to die otherwise.
I’m so glad I decided to volunteer today
I learned so much about planting trees the right way!

After countless hours of hard work and sweat,
Mayor Nick’s goals for the park were finally met.
He thanked everyone, and as he drove out of sight,
He shouted “Happy Arbor Day to all, and to all a good night!”

Arbor Day Paper, FNR-445 Urban Forestry Topics
Author: Erin Hipskind, BS 2016

Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. As a formal holiday, it was first observed in 1872, in Nebraska, but tree planting festivals are as old as civilization. The tree has appeared throughout history and literature as the symbol of life. Arbor Day celebrations for 2017 is on Saturday, April 29th. Check out activities around your area: Purdue Extension County Offices, Indiana Department of Natural Resources or Tippecanoe Soil & Water Conservation District.

Other resources:
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store-Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree – video, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting Your Tree – video, The Education Store

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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