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Fall is a good time to add trees
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(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series on the continuing effort to add trees to the community.)

For Kansas, as well as much of the country, fall is a great time to add to the local tree supply.
It’s a good time to work outdoors in the cooler weather, and there are also benefits for the trees because the soil is still warm, but its an easier time to keep moisture to the new trees without the hot weather to account for. Trees tend to establish better this time of year, according to Tree Board President Charles Waknitz.
And, as Waknitz has explained, Great Bend needs more trees — both today and for the future. In fact, as the community continues to lose aging trees over the next few years, it could be in trouble if property owners don’t get serious about adding to the community trees.
According to the American Association of Nurserymen, there are some important points to consider about fall planting:
“When selecting a tree, consider your lawn’s soil, sun, moisture, and temperature conditions, as well as your personal preferences regarding color, size, and leaf shape.
“Make sure the site you pick to plant the tree will accommodate the tree after it has matured. If planting close to your house, choose a smaller or slower-growing tree, unless, of course, you are trying to block out an undesirable view.
“Before you plant the tree, test your soil for drainage. Dig a hole, fill it with water, and check it twice--once after 24 hours have elapsed, again after 48 hours. If the hole drains well in this time frame, the soil should adequately support a tree.
“Dig the planting hole two to three times wider than, and about as deep as, the tree’s rootball. The hole should be deep enough to plant the tree at the same depth, or slightly above the depth, it was in the nursery field. If you dig the hole too deep, the tree will settle as you water it. This places stress on the root system.
“If you selected a bare root tree, gently place the roots in the hole, taking care not to tangle or twist them. For a container-grown or balled and burlapped tree, mound up a small amount of soil in the bottom of the hole, and place the tree on top of the mound.
“After placing the tree in the hole, refill it with the soil you initially removed.”
The city tree rebate program can help offset the price of new trees, according to information from the tree board: “Any property within the city limits of Great Bend may be reimbursed half the cost of one or two trees in the amount not to exceed $50 per tree and a maximum of $100. Rebates will be approved subject to the availability of funds.
Guidelines that must be followed include:
• Trees must be on the approved species list.
• No more than two trees per property will be considered for the rebate.’
• Trees much be purchased from an established dealer.
• Trees must be planted between Oct. 1 through May 31.
• Trees must be one inch or more around.
• Recipients are responsible for the proper planting and care of the trees.
More information is available in a brochure available from the city office. It includes a form to submit for the rebate.