Sidney hosts tree care workshop

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City of Sidney Arborist Ryan Mullen, foreground left, Tree Care Inc. Arborist David Maurer, foreground center, and Tree Care Inc. Arborist Mark Caldwell, foreground right. complete some of the final steps when they plant a new red oak tree at Tawawa Park on Friday.

courtesy photo

SIDNEY – The City of Sydney invited more than two dozen arborists from Bellefontaine, Lincoln Heights, New Bremen, Piqua, Quincy, Shelby County and Sydney to a hands-on workshop at Tawawa Park on Friday, April 21 presented by David Maurer and Mark Caldwell , professional arborists from Tree Care Inc.

Based in Dayton, Ohio, since its inception in 1999, Tree Care Inc. has been a leading provider of tree care services to government, residential and commercial customers. They are the current provider of tree care services for the City of Sydney.

Because of the predicted rain, the fieldwork portion of the workshop took place in the morning. Two trees were planted in the park, including a red oak and a dogwood tree.

Maurer and Caldwell demonstrated proper tree planting techniques. The red oak was balled up, wrapped in burlap and enclosed in a wire basket.

Ball and burlap nursery stocks are dug around the roots with a soil ball. The root ball is wrapped in burlap and tied with twine. Larger trees are placed in wire baskets for additional support.

“The burlap and wire basket must be carefully removed when planting the tree,” Maurer said. “Otherwise the tree will die after two to five years.”

The dogwood tree was grown in containers. 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, the roots will encircle the container,” Caldwell said. “When that happens, the circling roots should either be straightened or severed.”

Best management practices for planting were highlighted, including: 1) ensuring the planting hole is at least 1.5 times larger than the root ball; 2) Ensure the root flare was level or an inch or two higher than the surrounding slope’; 3) Place the tree in the hole, making sure the tree is the right depth and sits straight; and 4) filling the remaining space in the hole with the same dirt that was 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 after the trees were planted, both donated by Jason Weigandt Landscaping. Best practices were discussed and demonstrated. The workshop was interrupted by a rain shower just in time for lunch, which was provided by the City of Sydney.

After lunch, both Maurer and Caldwell reviewed the American National Standards Institute’s standards for planting and transplanting nursery stock. After completing these standards, they moved on to the pruning standards.

“Always, always avoid pruning trees!” said Maurer. “Unfortunately, people often think they’re helping when they’re actually doing a lot more harm than they know,” Caldwell said. “We’d much rather work on a tree that nobody has ever touched. There’s a lot less work to do and it’s a lot less expensive for the customer. If someone else worked on the tree, we probably spend time correcting their mistakes.”

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

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