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About 90 tree commission members and others involved in the concept of urban forestry learned something new in the science of tree planting Tuesday. They learned about "stump water."
As part of the Tree City USA Awards program that took place in Loudonville Tuesday, Loudonville Tree commission Chair Greg Staman conducted the Annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony. After planting a tricolored beech (donated by Hobby Nursery in Hayesville) in the extreme southwest corner of Central Park, he told those watching about a discovery fellow tree commission member Jerry Dudte made in his 28 years of commission membership -- using stump water to help newly planted trees. "Far-fetched as it sounds, it seems to work," Stamen said.
He also shared the story of how he and another commission member, Stu Danals, elicited help from several neighborhood youngsters while planting a row of seven new trees on North Wood Street a few years ago.
"I was digging away on a very hot afternoon, when I suddenly heard some scraping and shuffling up the street from me," Staman remembered. "I turned and saw three or four boys digging holes where the trees would be planted. They successfully dug six holes, while I did the other. I asked Stu how this happened."
"The boys wondered what we were doing digging holes on their street, so I told them we were looking for a buried jar filled with money," Danals answered him. "That's one way to get these holes dug quickly."
For their efforts, Staman and Danals gave each of the diggers a $5 bill.
Not all of the Tree City programming was so lighthearted. Participants came from all across the 13 County Urban Forestry Region Six, which includes Ashland, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Mahoning, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. Attendees came from as far away as Youngstown, St. Clairsville and Cambridge.
Mayor Steve Stricklen welcomed the guests in formal meetings at the restored Ohio Theatre, introduced tree commission and council members, and thanked the commission and village fiscal office staff Elaine Van Horn and Jane Hollinger for their contributions to the program.
Then a video on the history of Loudonville, produced by Cleo Redd Fisher Museum Curator Kenny Libben, was shown.
Next, Chad Sanders, manager of the nearby Mohican-Memorial State Forest, discussed some of the challenges facing foresters both in Ohio and nationwide, followed by a showing of a film on the history of the Mohican-Memorial Forest called "Mohican: The Long View."
Winners of the local Forest Poster Contest were then honored. The tree planting in Central Park followed, with time allotted for people to visit the Fisher Museum and log cabin in Central Park. Port-a-Cook from Lucas served lunch at the Loudon Post 257 of the American Legion. The program closed with District Six Forester Lola Lewis presenting awards to participating communities.
Receiving the grand award among Tree Cities was the city of Wooster, which has been a Tree City since 1976, 41 consecutive years. In accepting the award, Wooster arborist Dan Yarnell picked up on the theme for the day by saying, "encourage everyone to plant more trees."
Tyler Stevenson, Ohio Urban Forester, offered early remarks and noted that Ohio leads the nation with 243 Tree City USA communities and 19 Tree campuses. Seven of these are in District Six: The College of Wooster and OSU ATI in Wooster, Kent State campuses in Salem and North Canton, Malone University in North Canton, Mount Union University in Alliance and Youngstown State University.
In his dialogue on the Mohican Memorial State Forest, Sanders said a challenge there today is determining what to do with the white and red pine plantations, planted 80 years ago to control erosion, as they start to die out. He also said the forest works with Ohio State programs and area FFA and JVS students using the Discovery Forest at Mohican as a showcase of proper forestry practices.
Other area communities that earned Tree City awards were Millersburg, second year; Creston, 22nd year; Loudonville, 27th; West Salem, 32nd; Ashland and Doylestown, 33rd; Baltic, 35th; Sugarcreek, 36th; and Orrville, 37th.