Placing a tree

Students from the Circleville High School Outdoor Science class helped plant trees along Main Street in Circleville this week.

CIRCLEVILLE — The Circleville Tree Commission has planted another two dozen trees with some help from some Circleville High School Students and the city service department.

The trees were planted this week along Main Street, mostly the 300 and 400 block of East Main Street in Circleville. Eight different types of trees were used and were selected specifically for the amount of green space between the sidewalk and the street.

Paul Hang, tree commission member, was on hand to oversee the planting, along with other tree commission members.

“These are all trees that have been sized for the width of the tree lawn,” he said. “Most of them are cultivars that are more of a column shape when they get old so not to go out over the street or the sidewalk when they get older.”

Hang said in the last three years, they’ve now planted 47 new trees inside the city. The goal is not to just plant a tree, but the right one.

“We want the right tree in the right place,” he said. “We want to have a diversity of trees. If you had planted all ash trees 10 years ago, they’d all be dead, due to the emerald ash borer.”

Hang said maybe more importantly than planting new trees is conserving the trees that are already present inside the city.

“We want to maintain and conserve the big, old trees that we have,” he said. “One big tree is worth 10 of these trees in terms of its impact on the environment, pollution and mitigating storm runoff. With climate change, a big tree is sequestering a lot of carbon. It’s just as important, if not more so, to keep the trees we have, on top of planting more.”

Hang said the trees that were planted will need watered, but won’t need pruning for two years while they grow and make them thrive.

“We’ll help them get established and then they should be pruned every two years,” he said. “Once they’re 10 to 15 years old, if you do the pruning right, it’ll have been done and you won’t have the problem of limbs growing where you don’t want them.”

Hang said the benefit to the trees downtown was the beautification of downtown.

“When people are coming into the city, we want them to have a nice view coming into the downtown,” he said.

“We also know that a tree-lined street, people drive slower than a street without any trees on it. We knew this particular entrance had the fewest trees and we felt it needed it.”

Austin Manson, a CHS teacher, had his outdoor science class involved in planting the trees. The outdoor science class is a pilot program from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Sportsman Alliance.

“Our biggest things are conservation, hunting, trapping, fishing, shooting and boating,” he said.

“It’s a yearlong course and the students can get their hunter safety course through us. This tree planting is along the conservation side of what we do.”

The students in the class are current juniors and seniors who are looking to get their hands dirty.

“Obviously, kids want to get outside of the classroom and that’s a big thing,” he said.

“I had a student say already that it would be ‘pretty sweet’ to see these trees in 10 to 15 years. Not only are they able to take what we’re learning in the classroom outdoors to apply it, but they’re also giving back to their community as well.”

Sheri Theis, city council member and tree commission liaison, was on hand to help with the planting of the trees.{

“It was a beautiful day to plant trees,” she said. “The dedicated members of the tree commission planned for several months to organize the Arbor Day event. Chris Cupp and the men of the service department were outstanding in their support and assistance with the heavy lifting involved in planting 24 trees on our city streets.”

Theis talked up the cooperation of the organizations involved

“Fourteen student volunteers from the outdoor science classes at CHS learned the proper planting technique from Master Gardener Paul Hang,” Theis said.

“They then proceeded up and down East Main Street, working in teams, planting tree after tree. The students were terrific! Many thanks to their teacher, Mr. Austin Manson, for making possible this joint effort involving the students, the city and the tree commission.”

Theis said good things are happening in Circleville.

“If anyone would like to help with planning for next year’s tree planting event, please let me know,” she said. “Volunteers enhance our city.”

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