Foster-A-Tree Spotlight

Richard Wrede with a Triumph elm, planted among established trees on Bryant through the Foster-A-Tree program.
Across the street from Kickingbird Golf Course along Bryant, the right-of-way of the Kingston neighborhood stands out with its variety of full canopied trees lining the street. Amongst these mature trees one will notice several young trees, which were planted over the past few years through the neighborhood branch of the Foster-A-Tree program. Richard Wrede manages Kingston’s landscaping, pruning and watering the trees and keeping these areas free of trash and debris. He says he loves seeing the trees grow and improve the frontage along Bryant –“The trees improve the overall look of our neighborhood, and the City of Edmond.”

In recent spring seasons, Urban Forestry has utilized bare root trees for the Foster-A-Tree program, which are another type of planting stock such as the more common containerized or balled and burlapped trees. Bare root trees have no planting medium around the roots, and are planted directly into the native soil of a site. Planting bare root has a number of benefits, such as reduced instances of girdling roots since roots may be straightened out at the time of planting. Bare root trees typically have a larger root system than other types of planting stock as well, which reduces the severity of transplant shock. The five trees added to Kingston’s landscape last year were each planted using the bare root method.

Richard attentively provided water for the new trees through last summer’s intense drought. One, the English oak, took quite a while to put out leaves in the spring which is a common characteristic Urban Forestry staff has noticed about the bare root plantings. In addition to late bud break, some bare root trees have exhibited smaller than normal leaf size and sparse canopies in the first year. However, as the season went on the trees continued to put on more growth. “This is the second year since the trees were planted and they have filled out and taken on a very nice full shape,” Richard noted. Despite the short waiting period in the beginning, the five trees have grown significantly and are on their way to becoming beautiful shade trees providing a multitude of benefits.

Residents from Richard’s neighborhood have continued to comment on how the trees improve the neighborhood and beautify the frontage along Bryant. He curated a different species from the list of available trees for each of the five when signing up for the Foster-A-Tree program, adding unique features to the already diverse urban forest at Kingston’s frontage. With several years of experience in landscaping, Richard enjoys “the personal reward of making things look nicer for the neighborhood and the enjoyment [the trees] bring” to others. When you drive past this area, we hope you enjoy the Kingston trees too.

Neighborhoods may receive up to five trees to plant in the right-of-way of common areas and medians through the Foster-A-Tree program. Registration is now open for the spring planting season at Contact Leigh Martin for more details at 359-4759.

Richard Wrede, caretaker of landscaping at the frontage of the Kingston neighborhood.