Photo by John Harpring
Trees are the landscape anchor to our Garden City. We really don’t think much about them once they are established, except to admire their beauty and enjoy the glorious shade and color they provide. Whether maple, oak, gingko, magnolia, pine, dogwood or poplar, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of trees that will thrive in the Augusta climate.
But since February, trees have been on just about everyone’s mind. The ice storm could strike fear in your heart as you worried if a tree would topple on top of your property or worse, injure a loved one. Once the ice finally melted, we had to deal with downed trees, damaged roofs and cars and general debris removal.
It was definitely nature’s pruning throughout the area, as in Augusta more than 600,000 cubic yards of debris were gathered at a cost of more than $16 million—all before Masters. In some cases, it was disappointing to see so many well-established trees in our community lost to the burden of the ice and wind.
Encouragement came in the form of volunteers, neighbors and friends helping each other cut, haul and clean up. It was wonderful to hear the stories of so many people giving generously of their time and chain saws to help people who might otherwise not be able to handle the fallen trees and limbs. Personally, I am thankful for great friends, neighbors and strangers who were generous with their time and equipment to help us get our yard clear again.
One way to honor those many people who came and helped us during the storm is to plant a tree in their honor. If you missed National Arbor Day on April 25, it’s not too late to take part. The goal of Arbor Day, which is marked in countries around the world, is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. It was founded in 1972 by John Rosenow.
A great local organization is Trees for Augusta Inc. The group provides leadership in education, preservation and the planting of trees along the streets of Augusta. Notable projects have included the planting of 30 gingko trees along Battle Row in Harrisburg, sugar maples in the median on Henry Street and crape myrtle and Chinese pistache trees along Jones Street in downtown Augusta. Visit their website at www.treesforaugusta.org for more information or to make a donation.
-Kate Metts, Publisher