Guest Column: How to plant, maintain trees

Bob Brantsch, chairperson
Stow Urban Forestry Commission

The Doctor Suess book and movie “The Lorax” is about saving and planting trees, but does not address how individuals, organizations, and local governments can accomplish this. Planting, maintaining, and educating communities regarding trees can be difficult. Thankfully, our city has a 41-year history of being supportive of trees through The National Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree City USA” certification. 

The city of Stow Urban Forestry Commission is a group of resident volunteers and city staff who care about the overall tree canopy of our city. Their primary focus concentrates on trees in the public    right-of-ways (tree lawn areas), public lands, and new commercial and residential developments. Currently, Stow has over 4,000 vacant tree planting sites. Last year, the city was only able to plant replacement trees in 130 of those sites.

Stow offers a Tree Planting Program in which a 2-inch diameter tree can be planted within the tree lawn or private front or side lawn areas of a residential property.  The city will purchase the tree, provide labor and supplies to plant the tree and install a watering bag and deer guard (first 2 growing seasons) on the tree.  All at a cost of just $125 per tree (indigence waivers accepted).  The city also offers a Memorial Tree Planting Program at a cost of $200 per tree.  For more details about these programs and Urban Forestry in Stow, please visit: www.stowohio.org/urban-forestry/

Young trees need a lot of care in order to grow into a mature and beautiful resource. Trees increase in value every year providing benefits including: stormwater mitigation, cleaner air, shade, increased property values, and improving the overall aesthetics of a neighborhood.

The city of Stow Urban Forestry Commission is a wonderful cadre of resident volunteers and city staff including:

Kaley Donovan – Arborist & Project Manager at Davey Resource Group

Michael Rauh – Owner, Rauh Christmas Tree Farm in Stow

John Weedon – Director, Stark Soil & Water Conservation District

Laura Root – Bulldog Bag coordinator & former Stow teacher

John Berg – Ohio Division of Parks & Watercraft

Jeff Saltzman – ACRT Forest Management co-founder

Sue Mottl – City of Stow Landscape Arborist

Jill Janson – Stow Urban Forestry Commission secretary

The Commission is knowledgeable of trees, supportive of planting more trees, and, quite simply, just love trees. Hopefully, you do too!