Sidney hosts tree care workshop


SIDNEY — The city of Sidney hosted more than two dozen tree-care specialists from Bellefontaine, Lincoln Heights, New Bremen, Piqua, Quincy, Shelby County and Sidney for a hands-on workshop at Tawawa Park on Friday, April 21. The workshop was presented by David Maurer and Mark Caldwell, professional arborists from Tree Care Inc.

Located in Dayton, Ohio Tree Care Inc. is a leading provider of tree care services for government, residential and commercial customers since their founding in 1999. They are the current provider of tree care services for the city of Sidney.

Because of the forecasted rain, the field work portion of the workshop was held in the morning. Two trees, including a red oak and a dogwood tree, were planted in the park.

Maurer and Caldwell demonstrated the proper techniques for planting trees. The red oak was balled, wrapped in burlap, and encased in a wire basket.

Balled and burlapped nursery stock is dug with a ball of soil around its roots. The root ball is wrapped in burlap and held in place with twine. Larger trees are placed in wire baskets for additional support.

“The burlap and wire basket need to be carefully removed as the tree is planted,” Maurer said. “Failure to do so will result in the tree dying after two to five years.”

The dogwood tree was container-grown. As the name suggests, container-grown stock has been grown in a container for one or more seasons.

“If container-grown stock has been in the container for too long a period of time, the roots circle the container,” Caldwell said. “If that happens, the circling roots should either be straightened or severed.”

Best management practices for planting were emphasized including: 1) making certain that the planting hole was at least 1.5 times larger than the root ball; 2) making sure that the root flare was level or one to two inches higher than the surrounding grade’; 3) set the tree in the hole making sure that the tree was at the proper depth and sitting straight; and 4) fill the remaining space in the hole with the same dirt removed when the hole was dug. Once the tree is planted it should be watered regularly for the first two years.

The pruning portion of the workshop began once the trees, both donated by Jason Weigandt Landscaping, were planted. Best practices were discussed and demonstrated. The workshop was interrupted by a rain shower just in time for lunch, provided by the City of Sidney.

Following lunch, both Maurer and Caldwell reviewed the American National Standards Institute’s standards for planting and transplanting nursery stock. Once they had finished those standards, they moved into the standards for pruning.

“Always, always avoid topping trees!” Maurer stated. “Unfortunately, people often believe they are helping when they are actually causing far more damage than they know,” Caldwell said. “We much rather work on a tree that no one else has ever touched. There is far less work to do and it is far less expensive for the client. If someone else has worked on the tree, chances are we are spending time trying to correct their mistakes.”

“We are appreciative of the relationship we have with Tree Care Inc.,” City Arborist Brian Green said. “We are especially grateful that David Maurer and Mark Caldwell gave of their time to present this workshop today,” he said.

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