Tree plantings to highlight local Arbor Day celebration

City hall
Two trees being planted next to Hannibal City Hall as part of friday's Arbor Day celebration will be the first to be planted as part of the city's Broadway treescape project.
HCP File
By Danny Henley, Courier-Post Reporter
Posted: Apr. 25, 2019 8:59 am

The planting of trees at Hannibal City Hall and in Central Park will highlight the local observance of Arbor Day on Friday, April 26, in Hannibal.

The Arbor Day program in Central Park, which will begin at 1:30 p.m., will include fourth graders from area schools helping Hannibal Tree Board members plant the trees.

"It's a nice event," said Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department (HPRD).

The tree board, which will be assisted by the HPRD, intends to plant three trees in the park.

A burr oak tree will be planted near the statue of William Henry Hatch, in the park's southwest corner, as part of Hannibal's bicentennial celebration.

In addition, a black gum tree will be planted in memory of C.O. “Bud” Schulten and a northern red oak tree planted in memory of Roy and May Belle Stout.

Dorian said the two trees being planted next to Hannibal City Hall will be the first to be planted as part of the city's Broadway treescape project.

Dorian called the two trees being planted next to city hall test subjects since special dirt, which will be used to give the trees a better chance of thriving in an urban setting.

Central Park has been the focus of tree-planting efforts since June 2017 when it was determined that the downtown park's tree canopy was produced by 25 trees over the course of little more than a decade.

A major reason for the tree loss was the storm of May 20, 2013. Seven Central Park trees were among those toppled or damaged beyond saving throughout town by that night's high winds.

The parks department removed another five trees in May 2017 as a safety precaution. Aron Lee, assistant director of the HPRD, told the Hannibal Park Board last week that three dying or dead trees had been removed from Central Park earlier this month.

Seventeen trees were planted in Central Park as part of last year’s Arbor Day celebration in a major step toward restoring the tree canopy.

Dorian said during a recent conversation with Kristy Trevathan of the tree board they agreed that "since Central Park is now full (of trees), to focus our efforts on Riverview (Park)."

Look for more trees that bloom in the spring to be planted.

"At one time, there were more dogwoods and flowering trees in the park,” Dorian said. “That is something we're going to look at with tree board in the future.”

Another area where tree planting will be occurring is on the riverfront, once the renovation project has been completed.

"We need to start raising funds for riverfront trees," Dorian said to the park board. "I know we have had a couple of memorial trees donated for the riverfront so far."

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