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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • First batch of saplings growing on city’s tree farm

  • As Hannibal Tree Board members Ed Tamerius and Harry Graves walked among rows of knee-high saplings that were full of leaves Wednesday morning at the city’s tree farm, they stopped at a bare tree that showed signs of having been nibbled on.
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  • As Hannibal Tree Board members Ed Tamerius and Harry Graves walked among rows of knee-high saplings that were full of leaves Wednesday morning at the city’s tree farm, they stopped at a bare tree that showed signs of having been nibbled on.
    “It was probably a deer or rabbit,” said Tamerius as he inspected the bite marks.
    “Look, it’s still got a leaf and a bud. It’s not given up,” added Graves.
    While that one small tree was not in the best condition, the majority of the approximately 160 trees are looking good. The trees, ordered though a program offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation, arrived roughly two months ago and were planted by Parks and Recreation Department personnel.
    “They look like they’re doing well,” said Kristy Trevathan, chairwoman of the Tree Board, during Wednesday morning’s meeting of that group at City Hall. “It (tree farm) is up and running. The concept is working.”
    The concept behind the tree farm, which was a point of discussion for almost two years before becoming a reality, is that it will enable the city to save on the cost of trees that the city annually plants. It will also enhance Hannibal's application to retain its Tree City USA certification and provide additional trees to plant for special events such as Arbor Day.
    While close to 160 trees of a variety of species were planted this year, it is hoped that once it’s fully operational a total of approximately 570 trees will be growing at the site, which is located on flood buyout property in the city’s southwest corner. Only a quarter of the trees will be harvested each year. The plan is to use the harvested trees on just city property and right-of-ways, so as to not compete with local businesses.
    Because of the tree farm’s proximity to Bear Creek, there was speculation during Wednesday’s meeting whether some, or all, of the young trees might go under water as the Mississippi River continues to back up into the creek.
    “They could have plenty of water,” said Tamerius.
    “I don’t know if it (flood water) will get up that far,” said Trevathan.
    Andy Dorian, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, acknowledged the potential for flooding to occur in that area was a “good question,” noting that since the city only recently took ownership of the land he’s not familiar with how prone it is to flood.
    “I think it would take a major flood,” said Dorian.
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