Arbor Day encourages responsible tree planting
Arbor Day, which was Friday, is a chance to encourage responsible tree planting and recognize the many Hoosier communities that have committed to urban forest management.
The Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources Community & Urban Forestry program promotes the responsible planting of trees on Arbor Day and reminds those who wish to plant a tree to practice social distancing and consider the tree’s characteristics and needs before planting, to include:
• Know how big your tree can get and plant it where it can grow to its full potential.
• When planting, be aware of overhead and underground utilities.
• Looking up and calling 811 before selecting a planting site can save a lot of trouble and time.
Care for your tree as it gets established, which takes two to five years. Providing water weekly and being careful while mowing is essential. Mower decks and string trimmers can mortally wound young trees.
A series of posts on the Division of Forestry Facebook page (facebook.com/INdnrforestry) can help Hoosiers celebrate Arbor Day.
Also, videos from Purdue Urban Forestry Extension specialist Lindsey Purcell about how to select trees can be found at mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=FNR-541-WV and how to properly plant them at mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=FNR-540-WV.
For more information about finding a professional to help care for existing trees, visit isa-arbor.com/ to find an ISA Certified Arborist.
Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1872, when an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska, the home state of then-U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sterling Morton. For more about Arbor Day history, see dnr.IN.gov/forestry/5314.htm.
National Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA and Tree Line USA are programs run through the Arbor Day Foundation that recognize cities, college campuses and utility companies for excelling in planting and caring for urban trees. More about these programs is at arborday.org.
Trees enhance the urban landscape and help to improve air and water quality, making communities healthier, safer and more beautiful places.
In Indiana, 65 communities have earned Tree City USA designation. These communities meet criteria that include having a tree-preservation ordinance, having a tree board or department with staff, spending $2 per capita on tree care and maintenance and holding an Arbor Day observation with a proclamation.
For more information about Indiana Tree City USA, visit the Community & Urban Forestry page at dnr.IN.gov/forestry/2854.htm. Communities that go above and beyond these criteria in a certain year can attain a Tree City Growth Award. Communities that receive 10 Growth Awards can earn the designation as a Sterling Community, as listed at arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/sterling.cfm.
Communities or campuses interested in becoming a Tree City USA or Tree Campus USA should contact the Community and Urban Forestry Program by email at [email protected]gov.