Committee’s update celebrates new trees


At least 65 new trees are gracing Jefferson after the past year’s round of planting.

Lynn Menz, chairman of Jefferson’s tree committee, gave an annual update to city council Tuesday.

The new trees, planted in the spring and fall, include 10 American sycamores, 15 American lindens, 10 red oaks, 10 swamp white oaks, five shingle oaks, two Kentucky coffee trees, two ginkgos, one hackberry and 10 English oaks, according to the Tree Committee’s annual report.

For the 10th year in a row, eighth-grade students helped plant trees — this time, their project was 31 trees along Maple Street.

In fact, students were instrumental in much of the Tree Committee’s work this year, Menz said. A group from Trinity Lutheran Church helped mulch the trees on Maple Street in May, and high school agriculture students helped plant trees to replace some that had died on Maple Street.

“These are farm kids,” Menz said. “They know how to dig holes. We had a great time.”
Other spots that received new or replacement trees include the streets near Bett & Bev’s BBQ, several parks, the Habitat house and the southeast corner of the East Cemetery.

This year, the Tree Committee bought trees from Mike Bevins in Woodward. Bevins raises trees in bags, rather than plastic pots, which committee members hope will improve the trees’ root ball formation and reduce transplant shock.

Tree Committee members attended the annual “Tree City USA” awards banquet in Johnston in May and discussed the emerald ash borer, a beetle that preys on ash trees. The committee decided not to plant ash trees this year because of the threat.

“The autumn purple ash trees across from Subway — they put on a show every year,” Menz said. “I sure hope they don’t go.”

The committee also welcomed several new members: Margaret Hamilton, Abby Hamilton, Cassie Dozier and Joan Conroy.

Committee member Brad Riphagen applies each year for grant money to pay for new trees.

“I had a lady come to me whose husband died; they used to walk at Daubendiek Park by the trees we planted a few years ago,” Menz said. “Someone came and broke them, and it made her sad; she’d like to donate to put more trees there.”

Jefferson’s Parks and Recreation committee approved planting trees in the park in the upcoming spring. The woman will put $1,000 toward the trees, which will be fenced for protection.

“Without you guys, we wouldn’t have nearly the number of beautiful trees we have,” Councilwoman Lisa Jaskey said. “It’s so important, and I appreciate it very much. I’m a tree lover myself, and I thank you for all you do.”

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