Lauryn’s Watering in Watertown: A Key Role in a Late Summer Bur Oak Transplanting

photos courtesy Mike DeMarco

Coming out of the end of my sophomore year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, I was hoping for an internship for the summer, or at least a job. Unfortunately, both of the internships I had lined up fell through due to COVID-19. Luckily, however, I came across the opportunity to be the urban forestry assistant for the City of Watertown.

My job this summer was to water and prune the young trees and also water the older ash trees that had been given root treatments for emerald ash borer. My position was a hybrid, housed between the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and the Department of Public Works (DPW), which was really unique and made my summer all that more interesting. For instance, I realized how important the collaboration between the two was when we had to do an emergency tree transplanting in a construction site in the City.

The DPW was in the process of putting in a new sidewalk that was very close to an existing bur oak tree (Quercus macrocarpa). The DPW could have just taken the tree out or pretended it wasn’t there and severely damaged its root system, but instead they called the OPCD; they wanted to do a tree relocation and put the bur oak in place of a tree that had died about 15 feet away.

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HWS Junior Lauryn Tabolt’s Summer with Watertown’s Trees 🌳

Meet Lauryn Tabolt, a Hobart & William Smith junior who worked in the Watertown Planning Department this summer on tree care with Planning & Community Development Director Mike Lumbis and Planner (and Council Board Member) Mike DeMarco, who wrote this about Lauryn’s vital work during a hot, dry summer:

“Lauryn has been working hard to protect young trees from succumbing to drought stress by watering them on weekly and rotational cycles. Lauryn cared for and supported over 300 young trees planted over the past few years as well as individual larger trees as needed. She played a key role in the City’s 2020 Ash Tree Treatment Project by watering all 58 recently treated ash trees which assisted uptake of chemical pesticide throughout the tree … even during a drought!

An emergency late season tree transplant provided the opportunity for Lauryn to take part in the transplanting procedure as well as having own her spot on the construction site to water daily to ensure the survival of “Oakey” (named by Lauryn), the transplanted bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa).”

You can see a video series of Lauryn in her words on the NYSUFC YouTube Channel and on our Instagram page. 🌳

 

Watertown’s 17th Annual Fall Planting Event

Volunteers and Watertown City Planner Michael DeMarco (holding stakes) plant a bare root dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) in Cosgrove-Sherman St. Park.

Reported by Michael DeMarco, Planner for the City of Watertown and ISA Certified Arborist

October 20, 2018 marked the City of Watertown’s 17th Annual Fall Tree Planting event co-sponsored by the City and Tree Watertown, the City’s street tree advisory board. This year’s event was held at Cosgrove–Sherman St. Park. Historically, this large green space has been used as a sanitary and stormwater sewer corridor, but it is technically categorized as a municipal park. 

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Council Board Member & New MFI Grad Mike DeMarco

Mike DeMarco Pic 2Council Board Member Mike DeMarco attended the 2017 Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) on scholarship from the Council and NYSDEC. MFI is an immersive, weeklong leadership training for urban forestry professionals. Here, we learn about DeMarco’s takeaways from MFI, his current position, and his work and educational background.

DeMarco says, “I would like to give a big shout out and thank you to the New York State Urban Forestry Council and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Without the support and positive push from members of these organizations, I would not have been able to take part in MFI 2017.”

Mike DeMarco: Prior to any thought of a career in urban forestry, I spent most of my early and mid-20’s following an obsession with creating music and working as a master control operator at WWNY- TV7, a local news station in my hometown of Watertown, NY. After a few years of work in TV, I felt that something was missing in my life—that is, until 2008 when I found Tree Watertown (Watertown’s Street Tree Advisory Board). I began attending meetings and quickly discovered my love for the urban forest.

Before I knew it, I was being mentored by two individuals that have since played a huge part in my journey. They encouraged me to pursue higher education and in the fall of 2012, I graduated from SUNY-ESF with a BS in Natural Resource Management and a minor in Urban Forestry.

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