Volunteers and Tree Vitalize dig their new trees!

Arboretum Board and Volunteers Dig Their New Trees! On November 15, 2014, more than 25 volunteers gathered on a cold and frosty morning at the Pleasant Hills Arboretum for the planting of 18 new trees received through a grant from Tree Vitalize.

Tree Vitalize representatives, Loreille Sherman, Kelly Flynn, Matt Erb and Jake Milofsky were first to arrive at the parking lot that morning, unloading mulch and working diligently to place the stakes and tools around the tree planting sites. We are grateful for their invaluable time, efforts, and expertise given to this project. We’d like to offer a very special thanks to the Pleasant Hills Public Works Department, headed by Denny Kunkel. What a boost to have had the holes pre­dug a few days prior to the plantings! Their handy backhoe also helped to hoist the heavy wrapped trees closer to their soon­to­be homes. The group of volunteers included arboretum board members, enthusiastic community residents, and a lively group from St. Elizabeth’s Girl Scouts. All volunteers were ready to lend a helping hand wherever needed, including the girls setting out to collect wood for a portable fire pit to help keep everyone warm between plantings.

IMG 0399We enjoyed a round of coffee kindly provided by Sheetz, and donuts by Green Energy who had set up a booth in the parking lot. Volunteers were given training by Matt and Jake on how to prepare the tree pits for planting. After witnessing the planting of an American Hornbeam tree, volunteers were assigned to their own tree­planting sites in the arboretum. Despite the frosty and hardened nature of the soil, all 18 new trees were planted in short order. By noon, the sun had warmed the transformed area and our volunteers were ready for a break with pizza, graciously donated by our local Vocelli Pizza. The Girl Scouts, ready to celebrate, went rolling down the meadow slopes!

Many thanks to the Tree Vitalize team, and especially to Marah Vecenie, who was a tremendous help in our grant application process to obtain the new trees. Tree Vitalize provided us with gator bags to help water our new plantings.

A special thanks to Pleasant Hills Arboretum board members: Bill Steffen, President; Gretchen Fuller, Treasurer / Sign­ups; Bob Mulvihill; Pam Ferkett; Ann Talerek; Paul Beck; and Greg Smith for their assistance to the Tree Vitalize staff in coordinating our group of volunteers. Again, many thanks to all who were involved working together cooperatively to add new specimen trees to the Pleasant Hills Arboretum. With the success of our fall planting, we hope to apply for a second Tree Vitalize grant for next fall.

You are welcome to come out to the Pleasant Hills Arboretum to enjoy these lovely newly­planted trees in person as they burst into bloom in Spring, fill out with foliage in Summer, and display glorious colors in Fall. An updated list of our trees can be found on our website at http://www.pleasanthillsarboretum.org/.

­ Article submitted by Paul Beck.