Milford Trees, Inc.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cooperative Effort Replaces Trees On Intervale Green

by Mary Ludwig

Neighborhoods in Milford are showing a sense of pride and interest in the natural resources that make up their environmental surroundings. On Saturday, July 8th, nonprofit Milford Trees, Inc.’s volunteers along with members of the Tree Commission and the City’s Public Works Department planted four Sycamore and two Sweetgum trees in the center green on Intervale Parkway in Devon.

Having grown up with the beauty and shade of mature trees in the center green, Rob Masud, Intervale resident, came to the Tree Commission meeting earlier in March to find out if the trees that Public Works had to cut down would be replaced. He said that the neighborhood looked terrible without the trees there. Irwin Langewisch, Tree Warden, explained to Mr. Masud that the trees that came down were diseased and had safety issues.

Although Public Works does not have a tree replacement program, Irwin knew that if he could purchase the trees, volunteers from Milford Trees, Inc. and the Tree Commission would help plant the trees and save time and expense for the City. He contacted Mary Ludwig, President of Milford Trees, Inc. and Steve Wing, Tree Commission Chair and they lined up the volunteers for the designated Saturday morning. The helpful volunteers were Tammy and Paul Jorgensen with their 2 young sons, Noah and Ethan, Paul’s brother David Jorgensen visiting from Taiwan, and nephew, Michael Jorgensen from New Hampshire, Marj Winkleman, Steve Wing and Mary Ludwig. Public Works partners were Irwin Langewisch, Ray Leeman and Mike Gresko. Great job done by all on a hot summer’s day!

Public Works dug the holes and backfilled them for safety reasons prior to the planted date. At 9 A.M. when the volunteers arrived, they went to work preparing the holes until the six trees arrived from Shadyside Nursery on Gulf Pond where they were being stored. (The nursery is a cooperative operation run by volunteers from Milford Trees, Inc., the Tree Commission and Public Works and grows 800 trees.) The large trees that Public Works delivered to Intervale were 2-3 inch caliper and stood 12 -15 feet tall.

Rob Masud and his parents, Charles and Doris greeted the volunteers with enthusiasm and warmth. Rob chipped in and helped plant the trees while his father and mother cheered on and donated scissors to help cut the landscaping fabric that was placed on top of the soil surrounding the newly planted trees. The fabric deters weeds from growing. Public Works trucked in mulch to place over the fabric and the volunteers knew not to touch the trunk of the tree with the mulch because it encourages rot and insect attacks and kept it only 3-4 inches deep. No volcano mulching!

Langewisch finished off the project by bringing in the watering truck and giving the trees a good drink to ward off planting and heat stress. Gator bags which were filled with water and placed around the trees help ease the stressed trees in the summer heat.

In order to keep the newly planted trees surviving especially during the first year or two and during times of drought, a weekly watering system needs to be set up. Milford Trees, Inc. is purchasing a watering tank designed by John Westermann. Once in place, the watering tank will be driven by volunteers to help water trees around the City so they can better survive their first summer.

Along with that prospect, residents living near the newly planted area are asked to set up a watering schedule to help the trees survive. Maintenance of young trees is a cooperative effort and as you see the trees grow and reach maturity, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment, a sense of ownership and place that comes to each individual involved and in turn, to the neighborhood and the community. Milford’s natural resources deserve the very best care as do its residents.