Volunteer tree planting to focus on ‘Right Tree for the Right Place’ April 19

a small child and dad plant a tree on the CSU campus
At the event, volunteers will learn why the trees were chosen, and why it’s important to always select the best trees species for any planting location. Photo: Colorado State Forest Service

The Colorado State University community and Fort Collins residents can volunteer to plant trees on campus in celebration of Arbor Day on April 19. At the event, people will also learn about the importance of selecting the appropriate tree for a given planting location.

The planting acknowledges CSU’s continued status as an official Tree Campus USA, which recognizes universities for effectively managing campus trees and connecting with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests.

With a theme of “The Right Tree for the Right Place,” this year’s planting will help educate participants about the need to consider factors like soil type, sun exposure and proximity to power lines and infrastructure when deciding which tree to plant. Volunteers also will get a brief tour of the CSU Arboretum, where more than 1,000 different species of woody plants are available for teaching, research and outreach purposes.

Ten golden rain tree and Ginkgo trees will be planted along Pitkin Street, west of Canvas Stadium, as part of long-term CSU efforts to replace ash trees on campus. At the event, volunteers also will learn why it’s important to always select the best trees species for any planting location.

“When choosing a tree for a certain location, one needs to consider its overall mature height and width, along with its adaptability to the site,” said Jim Klett, horticulture professor for the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Consider soil type, sun versus shade requirements and desired ornamental features, along with water needs.”

Klett and other College of Agricultural Sciences staff are members of CSU’s Tree Advisory Committee, which includes representation from CSU Facilities Management, the Colorado State Forest Service, Warner College of Natural Resources, student groups and the retired Fort Collins City Forester.

students and a CSU staffer plant a tree on campusThis is the eighth year CSU will host a volunteer tree planting to celebrate Arbor Day and recognize its continued designation as a Tree Campus USA. The national program was created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

Also for the fifth year in a row, the CSU Bookstore is helping to fund the planting effort through its “Leave the Plastic, Plant a Tree” program. Since 2014, the bookstore has agreed to donate 5 cents for every plastic bag that a student declines, up to a total of $1,500 per year, which goes into funding these Arbor Day plantings. This year, the CSU Bookstore and its customers are covering the cost of all the trees being planted through the program.

The planting event will start at 1 p.m. at the Heritage Garden, directly west of Canvas Stadium, followed by a brief tour of the CSU Arboretum. CSU Facilities Management and the Colorado State Forest Service will then lead the volunteer tree planting event, and participants will receive free pizza, refreshments and promotional items donated by the CSU Bookstore.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Julia Innes via email: julia.innes@colostate.edu

The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) provides professional forestry assistance, wildfire mitigation expertise and outreach and education to help landowners and communities achieve their forest management goals. The CSFS is a service and outreach agency of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University and provides staffing for the Division of Forestry within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. For more information, visit www.csfs.colostate.edu.