Re-Tree Richland County Workshop Will Be Held Saturday, May 16

The Re-Tree Richland County event will be held Saturday, May 16 at the Sidney Country Club from 10:00 am until noon. This is a free workshop which teaches people proper tree planting and care techniques and also gives instructions on how to determine the appropriate tree for a given space, taking into consideration how big the tree will get, how close it’s planted to surrounding trees and structures, and power lines. It will be a hands-on class with MDU giving a presentation and Tim Fine from the MSU Extension Office teaching some tree identification techniques. Anyone is welcome to attend the workshop, however those who register in advance will receive one of sixteen different species of free 6’ to 8’ trees. Stephanie Ridl, City Parks Superintendent and Richland County Tree Board Secretary, will be coming to each location to help determine the best type of tree for the landscape; all trees planted in Sidney and Fairview must be planted on the city street right-of-way no less than thirty feet from a street corner. Trees planted in Crane, Lambert, and Savage must be planted a minimum of thirty feet from a street corner and those in rural situations can contact Ridl at 406-480-9263.

This is the second Re-Tree event, though last year it was exclusive to Sidney rather than the entirety of Richland County. In 2013 Ridl took part in a tree inventory within the city limits of Sidney, and found that there were 2000 trees, only half of the trees that were inventoried during the late 1970s. A certified Arborist, Ridl is at the forefront of re-treeing the area for future generations, her goal being to diversify the tree canopy so that there is no more than 10% of one species of tree. This rule of thumb means that if ever a devastation such as Dutch Elm Disease or Emerald Ash Board hits our area, an entire population of trees isn’t lost.

“I want to open people’s minds up to the fact that there is a vast variety of trees that can grow in our area and the unfortunate loss of a tree doesn’t necessarily mean that tree species just won’t grow here. There are many variables as to why a tree may fail and proper planting procedures and tree care techniques are the biggest factors,” said Ridl who is using her passion to help the community and do her part. “There is a tree out there that is suitable for every space.”

Ridl received an Arbor Day Foundation Grant, DNRC Tree City of the Year Award Grant, and funding from the Richland County Tree Board to purchase 50 trees this year. ‘Royal Red’ Norway Maples, ‘Autumn Gold’ Ginkgo, and Swamp White Oak are just a few of the several species that will be offered according to landscape requirements.

For those interested in receiving a tree for planting, applications can be picked up at Sidney City Hall, 115 2nd St SE. A site evaluation will be reviewed by Richland County Tree Board members and will help individuals determine the best type of tree for planting. The property owner must attend the Re-Tree workshop and then plant and maintain the tree. There is a limit of one tree per property per year.

Residents of Richland County are encouraged to attend the workshop and take an active part in laying the ground work for future generations that will call this area home.


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