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Top Seven Blog Posts of 2018

In 2018, among our most-read blog posts were tributes to the Council’s beloved Pat Tobin and Brian Skinner, who passed on from this world, and to former NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk, who left for a new career opportunity. Excluding those special tributes, the following were the most-read blog posts in 2018.

Encore! Originally published on the blog in 2015, this post continues to be highly relevant to our blog readers. It was the most-read blog post in 2018 (more than 1600 views) AND in 2017 (more than 1400 views). Former NYC Director of Street Tree Planting Matt Stephens and NYSUFC Editor Michelle Sutton coauthored this story questioning commonly held beliefs about “fall hazards,” mostly as it applies to B&B trees, but they also discuss the interaction of the fall season with other production methods, like bare root. Nina Bassuk helped craft the section called “The Five Branches of Transplanting Success,” which will be of interest to anyone planting trees.

Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana and its cultivars) is now a problem in parts of the country where we thought ourselves immune. Why are self-sterile cultivars of Callery pear producing fruit? One way it happens is when fertile pear understock sprouts, flowers, and produces viable pollen. Another: by the late 1990s, the introduction of new Callery pear cultivars beyond ‘Bradford’, cultivars like ‘Aristocrat’ and ‘Chanticleer’, led to an unexpected dilemma: in areas where large numbers of Callery pears were planted, the self-sterile cultivars starting pollinating one another. Then came the fruit, then came bird dispersion of the fruit … and “Pyrus, We Have a Problem.” 

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SMA Announces 2019 Urban Tree of the Year

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) coping admirably well with the heat on the student union patio at Virginia Tech. Photo by Eric Wiseman

Each year, members of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) vote for the SMA Urban Tree of the Year. Praise for this year’s winner, American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), came from fans in states as far-flung as Wisconsin, New York, Virginia, and Texas.

Here, we hear from the Council’s Dr. Nina Bassuk at Cornell and from her colleague, Dr. Eric Wiseman at Virginia Tech. You can see the full list of SMA Urban Trees of the Year going back to the program’s inception in 1996 here.  

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ReLeaf 2018 Conference Presentations Online

Weren’t able to attend ReLeaf at Rochester last summer? Or attended, but want to revisit content from these popular sessions? The links to the 2018 presentations are here: 

Remembering Brian Skinner

Brian at left with his children Melissa, Tracy, Kevin, and Brianne and six of his eight grandkids. Brian’s wife Diane took the photo.

If you haven’t had a chance to send in a reflection, editor Michelle will be happy to add it. Please send to editor@nysufc.org. 

There are two rich profiles of Brian on the blog that you might like to visit. A popular profile from 2014, and Brian’s reflections on his career from the time of his semi-retirement from National Grid. There’s also a post about Brian receiving the first-ever Heartwood Award for service to the Council. 

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Bainbridge Celebrates Arbor Day with Seven New Trees

Members of the Bainbridge Garden Club admire a newly planted Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata). Photos Courtesy Village of Bainbridge.

Reported by Philip C. Wade, Bainbridge Mayor, Leader of Arbor Date Event

The Village of Bainbridge (pop ~ 3300) is located at the eastern edge of Chenango County, halfway between Binghamton and Oneonta. The Village was awarded up to $1000 in grant monies from the New York State Urban Forestry Council to be used for tree purchase and planting materials for a community Arbor Day Tree Planting event which was held in Bainbridge on Friday, May 25th. It was a very successful event, with participation from the Village DPW crew, Boy Scouts, and the local Jericho Garden Club of Bainbridge.

As a result, seven balled-and-burlapped (B&B) trees of 1.5 to 2” caliper representing six different species were planted around the Village, including the Village Green Park, along Greenlawn Avenue, on Front Street, and on Parsons Street. All species are suitable for Bainbridge’s USDA Hardiness Zone (5a to 6a, depending on microclimate within the Village), and in respect to the local maple sugaring industry, included a sugar maple cultivar (Acer saccharum ‘Fall Fiesta’).

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Lima Makes Good Use of its Arbor Day Grant Dollars

 

Eagle Scout candidates plant a tree to shade one of the new benches in Lima’s Mark Tubbs Park.

Reporting by John Correll.  

The Village of Lima (in Livingston County, south of Rochester; pop. ~ 4300) selected Saturday April 14, 2018 for its first-ever Arbor Day planting event. This date coincided with the pick-up dates for the Livingston County Soil & Water Conservation Tree & Shrub Seedling Program, the source of some supplies needed for the Arbor Day event. Lima was one of 13 communities selected to receive an Arbor Day grant from the Council. 

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Freeville Fall Follow-Up: Arbor Day Planting Part II

Thank you to Tom Cavataio, Member of the Freeville Village Planning Board and Tree Committee, for this excellent report. 

Another successful tree planting in the Village of Freeville took place on Saturday, November 10th, 2018. You may have read in a previous blog post that we hosted a limited planting in May 2018. The planting was limited due to the lack of availability of the narrow-growth crabapples that we selected to plant this year.

The Tree Committee met in July to confirm the varieties of the crabapples as well as a small number of cultivars of two native hardwood species that we would purchase bare root: red maple (Acer rubrum ‘Karpick’) and swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor ‘Beacon’). The goals were to beautify the areas of plantings, employ the traffic-calming effect of trees planted in the school zone, and also to replicate to a certain degree the taller-growth trees that many long-time village residents recall from years past (something of a challenge, given that a lot of infrastructure now exists in that area that did not decades ago). The July meeting also yielded a tentative timeline for ordering and taking delivery of the trees, which we planned to plant the first or second Saturday in November. 

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