Garfield Square receives new miyabe maple trees
POTTSVILLE— Nine miyabe maple trees were planted Tuesday in Garfield Square.
Six were planted on the south side of Garfield Square and three on the north side. The Pottsville Shade Tree Commission paid for the trees, which came from Schichtel’s Nursery, New York. In all, 13 trees will be planted.
“By the end of the week, the trees should be planted,” Joe Orlowsky, chairman of the Pottsville Shade Tree Commission, said.
About nine people, some members of the Shade Tree Commission, worked to plant the 9-foot-tall trees. They are replacing the Bradford pear trees, which have exceeded their normal life expectancy, Orlowsky said. The trees could grow to 40 feet tall. Jerry Bowman, member of the municipal forestry committee of the Schuylkill County Conservancy, said the trees are probably 4 or 5 years old.
Garfield Square looks different than it did earlier this year because of a streetscape project funded by a Community Development Block Grant. The $368,262 project in the area from Fourth to Sixth streets includes the removal of trees; planting of new trees; removal of six parking spaces; new sidewalks, curbs and architectural lightning; and handicapped accessibility improvements. Work started a couple months ago. City Administrator Thomas A. Palamar said Monday the project should be complete by Nov. 20. A delay in the project was not the fault
of the general contractor, Doug Lamb Construction Inc., Elizabethtown, Lancaster County. Some of the delay was caused by work that needed to be completed by PPL, Palamar said.
The tree caregivers worked hard to place the trees into the structural soil, which helps the trees grow better under urban conditions.
“This will drain very well and collect soil,” Jane Kruse, a member of the Shade Tree Commission, said.
Each tree is placed in a tree pit, a 4-by-4-foot area for the tree within the structural soil. On either side is 5 feet of soil extending outward under the cement.
Before placing the trees in the tree pit, Kruse pruned the roots to give the tree a fighting chance at survival.
“We should not take it out again that will hurt the tree. It’s a bare root tree. It has delicate roots,” Diana Beausang, a member of the Shade Tree Commission, said when it was noticed there was twine still on the tree branches.
The twine was cut using a pruner.
Volunteers had to use shovels and a pickaxe to loosen the soil, which was then placed over the roots of the tree. When they were done, Kruse and others stomped on the soil to get rid of any air bubbles that can form in between the rocks.
Phil Lamb, concrete foreman with Doug Lamb Construction Inc., said the concrete work is scheduled for completion this week.
Jerry Bowman, left, Schuylkill Haven, and Jane Kruse, Pottsville, plant a miyabe maple tree in Garfield Square, Pottsville, on Tuesday.
Matt Wood, left, Pottsville, and Jerry Bowman, center, Schuylkill Haven, plant a miyabe maple tree in Garfield Square, Pottsville, on Tuesday.