By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
The Bowling Green Tree Commission gathered for a meeting last week under a tree dedicated to a former member, Walt Ferrell.
The tree, a three-flowered maple, was planted in the city’s arboretum located to the west of the city’s fire station on Pearl Street. The plaque at the base of the tree honors Ferrell, a 10-year member of the city tree commission, who graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture.
“He was a good man,” said Bob Manley, a member of the tree commission.
As they stood under the young tree, the commission continued its monthly meeting with the city’s arborist Grant Jones.
They discussed the stress that the summer’s hot, dry conditions placed on trees – especially young trees trying to get established. “A lot of those really struggled,” Jones said.
The city is currently doing a lot of pruning of trees for overhead power line clearance, and some trees are being removed in the area of Madison and Lorraine streets due to work on water and sewer lines.
Jones assured tree commission members that the city was planting more trees that it was removing. Approximately 120 trees were planted in the spring, and another 88 are planned for this fall.
The group also discussed the city’s new efforts to give tree roots a little more wiggle room by using a sidewalk surface that is rubbery and moves a bit rather than cracks from root pressure.
The tree commission also discussed educational efforts in the city. Jones recently held a diagnostic program to help city residents determine if their trees were healthy or suffering with problems. Another program is planned on Oct. 8 that will focus on soils. The workshop will look at the difference between sandy and clay soil, and organic matter compaction.
“Hopefully, we’re going to be able to be outside for it,” Jones said.
Another seminar is planned in November on using leaves for mulch. The program will be modeled after a town located north of New York City, where the community follows the “love ‘em and leave ‘em” approach to leaves. Rather than having the city pick up leaves, residents are encouraged to use them as mulch.
Landowners are instructed how to mulch leaves with their mowers, Jones said. “That way, you are returning those nutrients to the soil rather than having them hauled away.”