(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series on the continuing effort to add trees to the community.)
Fall is a great time to get trees established and Tree Board President Charles Waknitz is encouraging local residents to get serious about adding to the number of local trees, replacing some of those that have been lost to drought, disease and age in recent years.
Waknitz said an inventory of local trees has shown that, while the community continues to have an enviable selection of shade trees, there is a very real need for that number to be added to if the community is to continue to have good shade in the future.
To participate in the city’s tree rebate program, it is required that trees planted are included in the list of approved trees, but that includes a wide variety, Waknitz suggested.
The species list includes: Canada red cherry, Kentucky coffeetree, red crabapple, white crabapple, American elm, Asian elm, European and Eurasion elms, lacebark elm, goldenrain tree, common hackberry, cockspur hawthorn, green hawthorn, American linden, littleleaf linden, heritage oak, bur oak, chinkapin oak, English oak, Osage orange, eastern redbud and more.
There has been significant concern about the plight of introduced confiers that are in danger from the pine wilt disease and Waknitz said species that can be used to take the place of the susceptible species include bald cypress, Ponderosa pine, limber pine, soutwestern white pine, Colorado blue spruce and Chinese junipers.
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.