Hugging a tree probably won’t improve its health too much, but come join us to learn what will! The first in our series of programs and presentations about tree maintenance education is set for Saturday, March 29, from 9am-12pm. The “Tree Care and Maintenance Workshop” will be presented by two local experts: Mick Henry of Mick’s Tree Service, and Tom Hanecak, Maintenance & Operations Manager for Coconino County Parks & Recreation. Both are ISA certified arborists and will be sharing their tips as they lead the group through the demonstration site that surrounds Willow Bend – Sawmill County Park. There is a wide variety of trees in the Park, and after a walking preview of the program with the arborists, we know that there will be plenty to talk about. In this hands-on guided tour you will learn about planting the right tree in the right place, ideas for mulching, how and when to prune, common pests and diseases that affect our northern Arizona trees, watering and much more. Sign up here and be sure to bring a friend, a snack and some water!
The presentation is just one component of our project supported by a grant through the Arizona Forestry Division’s Community Challenge Grant Program with funds from the USDA Forest Service. We’ll also be building a mulched terrace on the slope below Willow Bend with help from our friends at the American Conservation Experience. We will redirect rainwater from storage tank overflow into a terrace showing how a properly mulched and graded terrace can be used by native vegetation to absorb excess rainwater and aid in its infiltration into the soils. This will be another aspect of our building and site that helps us continue to serve as a demonstration area for community education. The idea for this comes right out of a fabulous book by Brad Lancaster (more on Brad’s upcoming visit to Willow Bend for a fundraising presentation on May 17th coming soon, so stay tuned…registration and tickets will be available soon!)
Part 3 of the project will be a new portable display about the trees of the Flagstaff region including tree cookies, borings, and information about each tree’s habitat and health issues. Willow Bend’s AmeriCorps volunteer Joe Zofrea is designing the display and receiving some generous and most welcome assistance with samples and technical info from our friends at the Rocky Mountain Research Station. This will be a great component for the many family friendly community events we attend.
This past summer the forests of northern Arizona experienced an event that has not occurred since 1919 – a wide-spread ponderosa pine seedling regeneration. Triggered by a heavy cone drop in the fall of 2012 and an unusually wet summer in 2013, some areas of the forest were covered with 1-2 inch seedlings. Our final program will feature NAU Forestry professor Tom Kolb who will come to Willow Bend to talk about this unusual event. We’ll take a short walk from Willow Bend and look for these little saplings and discuss the importance of mitigation before they get too big!