Friday, April 24, 2015

Supporting Arbor Day activities

Serviceberry trees are a good choice near power lines.
Today is Arbor Day -- founded in 1872 as a special day set aside for tree planting. We are involved in several community activities this week to support Arbor Day. 

One of the events sponsored by the We Energies Foundation takes place today in West Bend. About 750 serviceberry tree saplings have been purchased and will be distributed to fifth-grade students in the city. The students take the trees home to their families for planting.

Roots and Branches volunteers prepare sapling packages.
Serviceberry trees are three-season trees that have white blossoms in the spring and red berries in the fall. They only grow to 15 feet, so they are perfect trees to plant to avoid power lines.

On Thursday, more than a dozen volunteers with Roots and Branches, a landscape and environmental improvement group, gathered to package the saplings for the students.

In addition, an autumn blaze maple tree will be planted at Decorah Elementary School to show students proper planting techniques. In advance of the event, students study the importance of trees in the environment.

When you plan to plant a tree, remember these tips:
  • Plant trees that won’t interfere with power lines when fully grown. Small ornamental trees or shrubs that will not exceed 15 feet in height such as serviceberry, dogwood and low-growing evergreens are best to plant around power lines. 
  • Plant taller trees such as maple, basswood, burr oak, white pine or spruce, which grow to more than 40 feet, at least 50 feet from power lines.
  • Call 811 three days ahead of any planting to mark underground utilities such as power lines and natural gas pipes. This service is free.
More information on planting and landscaping safety

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