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K-State Today

April 23, 2013

Arbor Day, Tree Campus USA campaign to kick off April 24

Submitted by Cathie Lavis, associate professor

Various members of the K-State community have embarked upon a mission that will help ensure our campus landscape continues to beautify and benefit future generations.

Kansas State University is in the process for being recognized as a Tree Campus USA. The program was designed by the Arbor Day Foundation to promote the care of trees and student involvement. The Tree Campus USA program requires the campus to meet five policy standards for overall tree care and awareness.

Annual renewal of these standards will allow us to remain recognized as a Tree Campus USA. Our goal is to continue to create and pass on a campus atmosphere that not only benefits the environment, but also instills pride in our campus community.

Once K-State completes the five standards, our application containing both visual and written documentation, will be submitted by Dec. 31 in order to be recognized as a Tree Campus USA university for this calendar year. We will then receive recognition materials to highlight our commitment to our campus environment.

Students in HORT 585, Arboriculture, have been working on several of the requirements as a class project. They have various educational activities planned to engage the campus community, Wednesday-Friday, April 24- 26. In Kansas, Arbor Day is celebrated the last Friday in April.

Arboriculture students have created a walking path through the campus highlighting 18 particular trees. They have designed informative posters for each of the trees that contain educational information and interesting facts. These signs will be posted for public viewing between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., April 24-26. At four key locations, students also will display various tree specimens with interesting facts and information. They will be encouraging their fellow students to sign either online or paper petitions agreeing to a $3 per semester increase of tuition that will be specifically allocated for campus trees care.

To become designated as a Tree Campus USA allocated finances must be allocated for the care of trees. It is suggested that the campus work toward an annual expenditure of $3 per full-time enrolled student, the natural average among recognized Tree Campus USA schools is currently $9-$11.

At 11 a.m. Friday, April 26 , a Northern Red Oak, Quercus rubra, will be planted by arboriculture students just south of Coffman Commons near Holtz Hall. Associate dean of the College of Agriculture, Don Boggs, Manhattan City Commissioner Richard Jankovich and Manhattan forestry supervisor J. David Mattox will participate in this event. Campus and Manhattan community members are invited to share in this activity.

The educational menu continues throughout Arbor Day with arboriculture students discussing proper tree planting and care as well as demonstrating proper pruning of young trees. Another fun part of the day’s activities will be watching arboriculture students climbing area trees. They will be demonstrating the use of a rope and climbing harness system; the system used to prune trees either in combination with or without an aerial lift truck is not being used. Climbing also allows the arborist to get into the tree to prune from inside out while a bucket truck works from the outside in. Many long-practicing arborists believe this is the ideal method to prune mature trees.

For further information, contact Cathie Lavis, chair of Kansas State Tree Campus USA Campaign at clavis@k-state.edu or 785-532-1433.

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