Second Half of 2017 – Tree Board Volunteers Helped Increase Our Urban Forest and Provided New Information
November 16 -- Another American chestnut tree was planted at Bruce Drysdale Elementary, carefully and enthusiastically by fifth graders chosen to help with the chore. Wes Burlingame, a nurseryman and member of Hendersonville Tree Board, and Ben Jarrett, southeast regional science coordinator for American Chestnut Foundation, supervised. The two-foot high sapling was provided by the Tree Board and the American Chestnut Foundation. Bruce Drysdale Principal BJ Laughter said he is pleased to add yet another chestnut tree to the grove on school property. Already, three American chestnut trees grow well and strong on the campus of the school in downtown Hendersonville.
“The students at Bruce Drysdale are educated about the value of trees and we use our campus as an outdoor classroom for environmental studies and experiential learning,” he said. “We are thrilled to work with the Tree Board and the American Chestnut Foundation as their constant research hopes to bring back the grand trees that once thrived here in the mountains.”
Outstanding Volunteer Effort in 2017 – All tolled, 387 volunteer hours were donated during the year by community members working on and supporting projects of the Hendersonville Tree Board. And the financial value of this work? According to Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, corporations, and individuals that publishes research important to the nonprofit sector, the value of volunteer hours in 2017 is $24.14/hr. This adds up to a financial value of $9,342.18 on Tree Board projects.
October 28 -- Homeowners in Druid Hills Historic District who signed up for the NeighborWoods Project received 29 free trees, which they planted at their homes. These residents agreed to plant, maintain, and care for the trees so they will thrive and increase the urban-forest tree cover in the City. A demonstration was given on that day to show participants how to properly dig the soil, amend it, and plant the new trees to increase the chances of success.
“I am happy that my neighbors are interested and willing to commit to this program,” said Sereta Brackett, a long-time Druid Hills resident who helped organize the program in her neighborhood. “This is an older neighborhood, and it’s a good idea to add new trees to fill in where old ones have been lost.”
Nearly 200 trees have been planted in Hendersonville through the NeighborWoods program since 2010, including projects in Hyman Heights Historic Neighborhood where 35 new trees have been added to the numerous “historic” trees in the neighborhood; Hendersonville Community Co-op where more than 14 trees and numerous pollinator plants and shrubs were installed to enhance the storm water wetland behind the new storefront; 84 American dogwoods installed on properties along Fifth Avenue West, creating a beautiful springtime display; Regal Oaks affordable-housing project for senior citizens, where at least 10 fig and cherry trees were planted; and a project in Green Meadows which included fruit and nut trees.
The NeighborWoods Tree Fund has been created at Community Foundation of Henderson County to accept donations, which will keep the tree-planting program growing. Money received will be used by Hendersonville Tree Board to purchase trees for residents to plant in yards, at businesses, in neighborhood green spaces, and where needed. The Tree Board’s program aims to assist residents to plant and maintain trees for health, beauty, wildlife, and to increase our urban forest coverage.
October 14 -- Six trees were planted in Keith Park, in the heart of Druid Hills neighborhood, to enhance the majestic older trees there. Among the trees to be added to the homes and landscape are American dogwood, white oak, redbud, sourwood, serviceberry, and sweet bay magnolia.
September 23 -- We experienced heavy rains of flash-flood proportions in 2017. Landowners and landscapers picked up some great tips and information at a program at Hendersonville Community Co-op sponsored by the Tree Board. Speakers for “Reduce and Control Your Storm Water Problems With Landscaped Trees and Plants” were Michael Huffman, Storm Water Quality Specialist with the City of Hendersonville, and Wes Burlingame, designer of the enhanced landscape at Hendersonville Community Co-op. The program was open to the public at no charge.
Through an informative PowerPoint presentation, Huffman provided general storm water information for homeowners and showed how to implement practices at home that are similar to those used in the creative landscaping at the Co-op. Tree Board member Wes Burlingame then led a guided stroll through the landscaped bio-retention area on Co-op property. Attendees saw first-hand how plants and trees work to help control and filter storm water, provide beauty, and support a variety of pollinators.
Six Heritage Tree Designations Accepted – Especially along Kanuga Street, where plans to widen the roadway caused concern in 2017 for landowners and those interested in historic preservation, the City’s Heritage Tree Designation helped show respect and care for mature and significant trees in the urban landscape. Several property owners applied during the year to designate six trees of significant value and those applications were accepted by City Council. Currently 14 trees are so designated, the first three in 1990, when the program began. The Tree Board oversees the Heritage Tree program. More information is available on the Tree Board website.
The Hendersonville Tree Board is a volunteer committee appointed by Hendersonville City Council. Its mission is to improve and maintain our urban forest, to educate citizens about trees and their economic and aesthetic importance, and to help implement the requirements of a registered Tree City USA.