2006-06-01 / Letters to the Editor

Trees were planted correctly

I want to assure all the Jamestown taxpayers that the trees planted in town are planted correctly. I was concerned by the Press coverage of the tree committee meeting May 16, 2006 that read, "He (the tree warden) also said that many trees that have been planted in other areas were 'technically unacceptable because they were buried too deep. Nickerson pointed out that this was a serious problem because the trees might die after five or six years." The reporter did not get the facts straight. These trees were not planted too deep. These trees will be alive many years from now because of the professional and correct planting procedures I did with the team from the Highway Department.

I stated to the tree committee that I had found that several trees had arrived from the nursery with the root flare was buried under several inches of soil in the root ball. This, unfortunately, is a common occurrence because modern nursery production and harvesting methods cause the burial of the root flare. The several trees I found with buried root flares indicated they were planted too deep in the nursery because they had encircling and girdling roots growing around the stem. If left like that, these trees would certainly die in the future. I stated to the committee that these roots were cut off, the soil pulled away from the trunk to prevent vascular decay, and the flare was set at the proper grade when planted to ensure plant longevity. I went on to say that the planting specs I had created for the town address the buried flare issue, so that any tree planted on town property, by whomever, must be planted with its flare exposed at grade level.

I stated that the trees, which arrived from the nursery with the buried root flares, did not technically meet the ANLA standards for nursery stock. These standards were revised in 2005 to address the issue of buried root flares. There were adequate roots on them, however, and they should all transplant well, providing they get sufficient water.

I also stated that I would recommend to public officials the watering be done by parks and recreation, not public works as was reported.

David Nickerson, Jamestown tree warden

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