Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 28, 2017

Annual tree giveaway set for Saturday

By David Hotle | May 15, 2017
Over 100 trees will be given away next Saturday, May 20, beginning promptly at 8 a.m. on the east side of Central Park as the Washington Tree Committee’s annual tree giveaway enters its 27th year.

 

 

Over 100 trees will be given away next Saturday, May 20, beginning promptly at 8 a.m. on the east side of Central Park as the Washington Tree Committee’s annual tree giveaway enters its 27th year.

This year, the committee, with assistance from the Washington Iowa Betterment Foundation, has secured 110 trees to be given away. Committee chairperson Marde McConnell said, like with most years, she expects the trees to be given away quickly. She said some people arrive as early as 7 a.m. to line up for a tree.

“Andy Dahl, our tree committee member and certified arborist, plays a huge role in the tree selection,” McConnell said. “The last few years we have added a fruit tree. This year it is a peach tree.”

The tree committee hopes to promote diversity of trees and tries to select varieties that are not common in the area.

McConnell said the event began when Bill Sitler had sent some money for a tree planting. At the time, the committee had chosen West Main and East Madison for new trees. McConnell said the committee decided to give all residents the opportunity to get a tree. The giveaway began.

The committee is offering 12 varieties of trees this year. They include: hackberry; white oak; Meyer spruce; Norway spruce; yellowwood; Kiwi Sunset Zelkova; spring wonder sargent cherry; red bud; Toba hawthorn; Amur chokecherry; Showy Mountain ash; and contender peach.

Before planting trees, people should call Iowa One Call (1-800-292-8989), which will check to see if there are any underground obstacles. This should be done a minimum of 48 hours prior to the desired time of planting. The committee recommends marking the desired location with a marker of some kind that is at least 15 inches tall. If residents plan to plant a tree in their terrace, they must pick up a tree permit from city hall. Not all species of trees may be planted in the terrace.

McConnell also recommends laying down a patch of mulch around the newly planted tree to prevent the roots from drying out. She also said the trees are bare root trees, so people should either plant them right away or put them in a bucket of water. She also warned against planting the trees too deep. She also suggested people dig the hole to accommodate the roots, rather than just dig a hole and arrange the roots to fit inside it.

 

 

 

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