Finally, I was ready to head over to the garage to pick up the water-wagon. They’d looked it over and gotten it road-worthy for another summer of what I am sure will be heavy use. Those guys do a great job of keeping all our equipment running and working and moving.
So I brought the water-wagon back to the parks maintenance building to drop it off. As I pulled in, Rich stopped me and said that a couple of the young trees we planted last fall at Shanklin Park had been pushed over by someone. Just after I unhitched the wagon, Little Sherry came up to me and said someone had broken half the limbs off of a crabapple over at Bakersfield Park.
So, instead of heading over to South Third Street to hammer in stakes for street trees as I had planned, I stopped first at Shanklin. Sure enough, a small swamp white oak and black tupelo were tipped completely over. I had to pull each of them out, re-dig the holes, and re-set each tree, making sure the roots weren’t damaged. I tucked them in snuggly once again. Then it was over to Bakersfield where this poor crabapple had indeed been tortured and twisted and broken. I pruned off what I could and cleaned up some nasty wounds as well as possible. Trees are exceedingly tough creatures, but why anyone would injure them this way is beyond me.
Then I headed back to my office to make some calls about trees to be planted on Arbor Day, one at the Goshen Middle School, and one at the Rieth Interpretive Center. By then it was noon, and I was ready for lunch.
What I’m really trying to say is that caring for our trees takes plenty of help and involvement from many people. I’m lucky in that I get to see who and how many. The roles each of us play keeps our urban forest healthy. And all these trees in turn make our city liveable in a way few other things do. Trees are worth a special observance. So here is the plug for our annual Arbor Day Celebration. Come over to the Rieth Interpretive Center on Friday from 5 until 7 p.m. We’ll have the Model Elementary third-grade choir singing, interactive games, the Science 2 Go Bus, tree climbing, a tree giveaway, live music, food, some awards, and a beautiful evening.
Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley is Goshen’s urban forester. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 537-0986