Saturday April 27th was a day of community service for Guardian as we planted, pruned, and cared for trees in Burns Park in honor of Arbor Day.
It was a beautiful sunny day with a park full of residents, volunteers, children, and dogs, all eager to see what was happening in the trees. Most everyone enjoyed a free Red oak to take home, and a Ray’s Red Hots’ Wolverine Dog from the grill.
Please follow the link below to read about ReLeaf Michigan and their Annual Tree and Shrub Sale Fundraiser.
Late last fall, I received an email from a client (we’ll call him “Joe” for the purpose of this post) requesting consultation on his church’s champion Downy Hawthorn (Crataegus mollis.) Joe and I work together to care for many noteworthy trees on the grounds of various commercial properties he manages around town, but none of these trees has been a certified champion tree. Needless to say, I was quite excited to be involved.
Kris and I met Joe on site to take a look at the tree a few days later. Thanks to some invasive buckthorn removal in previous years, accessing and viewing the tree was easy…especially since the tree dwarfed its neighboring hawthorns in comparison. When we finally approached the tree, Kris and I were impressed with the girth of the trunk and the spread of the crown. We certainly hadn’t ever seen a hawthorn that large before.
Overall, the tree is in good condition. We noticed some deadwood, old stubs, and a small amount of diseased tissue as well as a potential weak point located where the two main stems come together. We also noticed some vigorous grass growing underneath the tree as well as some interference from other nearby trees.
Based on our visual assessment, we recommended the following services: herbicide application to competing grasses and invasive species, soil sample analysis to prescribe an appropriate fertilization program, soil amendment with composted manure, mulching with woodchips, fungicide applications this spring, pruning, and cabling.
The goal of the services we are providing is to improve the growing conditions of the tree, reduce competition by nearby vegetation, remove dead and diseased tissue, and reduce the risk of the tree failing in a storm. With annual fertilization, fungicide treatments, and careful monitoring, we hope to keep the tree in good health…and maintain its champion certification for years to come.
In case you haven’t seen it already, we hung lights on the big oak tree outside of Zingerman’s Roadhouse. The lighting was the closing part of a lecture we put on discussing the history, care and future of this tree.
When you get a chance, drive by at night and check it out. Let us know what you think.