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Get involved with ‘Partners in Planting’

John Zvirovski / The Sun Two new trees are staked and growing as seen Wednesday in the Jamestown area.

With the new growing season also come many changes for the year. Not only are there new varieties of plants and trees for the landscape, but new programs to assist you in making a better environment. This year Jamestown City Forester Doug Wiles has announced the creation of the “Partners in Planting” program. This program is designed to assist residents with the planting of new boulevard trees on their property, while reimbursing for a portion of the trees selected for planting. It has never been easier to beautify your yard along with the city while getting money back for following the guidelines of the program.

The program will reimburse you for $50 for each Tier 1 tree and $30 for each Tier 2 tree that are planted on your boulevard, not to exceed $400 per each property owner. This program is not only designed to encourage diversity within our community, but also to get people involved in the beautification of our city and our own properties. By being involved in the process, we have the capacity to become more excited about the environment around us.

In order to qualify for this program, the property owner must obtain a free city permit to plant a tree on his or her boulevard, consult with the city forester during the process, and learn about proper placement, selection and care of the trees that are selected.

When selecting the tree, make sure it meets the guidelines from the vast list that is displayed on the forestry website. Always check for the overall health of the tree from the nursery where you’re making the purchase. Look for good coloring in the leaves or buds, balanced branch structure and shape and a rooting structure that is not too pot-bound.

Once you are ready to plant the tree and have the location selected, dig a hole that is twice as deep as the container and three times as wide. Once the hole is dug, make sure the sides and bottom of the hole are rough and loose and not smooth and shiny. If they have a ‘glazed’ appearance, this will cause a hard barrier for root development and the movement of water to pass through. A loose edge encourages good root development to get your tree started.

Next, fill in the bottom of the hole with some of the loose soil you dug out until the top of the root ball sits even with the surrounding soil level. Planting the tree too deeply can be detrimental for the health and overall survival of the specimen.

If the root ball has a mass or tangle of roots, try to loosen them up as much as possible so they grow away from the tree once planted and not back in toward the trunk. This will ensure long-term health and create vital support for the tree.

Back fill the hole with the remaining loosened dirt and lightly pack down with the hands. Compaction by foot will be too heavy for good root development and eliminates needed oxygen beneath the soil. Water the tree in good with 1 to 3 gallons of water and then weekly afterward if the soil becomes dry to the touch 6 to 8 inches down. 

Many trees need staking after planting, especially if they are larger. Make sure the stakes are placed in the ground 1 1/2 feet deep and at least 3 to 4 feet from the tree itself. Loosely anchor the tree trunk between the stakes with protective material around the trunk so it allows the tree to sway in the wind, but not fall over. This swaying action will allow strong root development that will anchor the tree later in the year. All stakes should be removed after the first year of planting to allow the tree to take over from there. In cases of larger trees, no more than two years should pass without removing the stakes. Any period longer than that will encourage poor root development and inhibit good support.

Once the tree is planted, watered and staked, mulch the base of the tree 2 to 3 feet out from the trunk to conserve moisture, cool the roots, and keep damaging items such as lawn mowers and weed trimmers from the base of the tree. These items are the No. 1 cause of stress to the tree and can prove fatal in the long run. Wood chips, shreds and bark are the best mulch available, as they give back to the ground and add nutrients to the roots. Mulch also inhibits grass growth around the tree, which can compete with the tree for water and other nutrients. Never pile mulch up against the tree trunk, but rather allow a 2- to 3-inch space around the trunk to allow air and moisture movement.

Once the planting is complete, it will be inspected by the city forester to make sure everything has been completed as required. This visit will also allow the homeowner to ask additional questions about proper care and concerns to retain the health of the tree.

At this time, the homeowner will need to complete the Partners in Planting claim form and submit copies of the purchase receipts showing the dollar amount and type of tree planted to City Hall. Payment out of the fund will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis as the fund is limited.

Special thanks should be given to the Jamestown Community Foundation, the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce’s City Beautification Committee, Interstate Engineering, Gate City Bank, Bank/Tax Forward, Otter Tail Power Co., Wells Fargo, Agricover, Country Gardens and Don’s Garden Center for providing funding for this program.

As residents of Jamestown, this is a great opportunity to become involved in the beautification and plant diversification of our community, while getting something back in return.

For more information regarding this program, please go to: For a list of trees suggested for planting in the area, please go to: http://www.james townnd. org/files/forestry /2014_boulevard_trees. pdf.

If you have any additional questions, please contact our city forester Doug Wiles directly at or call his office at 701-252-5900.

Happy planting and have a happy Easter everyone!!