Foster-A-Tree Spotlight

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The Seat family with their slash pine

When Dave Seat and his family first bought their home in Edmond, the front yard lacked the presence of trees despite a mature tree canopy throughout the neighborhood. The previous owner had removed a large tree near the street, and Dave was eager to replace it. When he learned about the Foster-A-Tree program, he signed up right away. “It was an easy call for us because the trees were free, and I think they add to the overall aesthetics of the street and community at large,” he remembers. Since the Seat’s first tree was planted a few years ago, additional foster trees have popped up along their street.

Dave says, “I’ve always loved the tall pine forests of Southeastern Oklahoma and the Deep South, so I wanted to incorporate that look into our landscape.” The slash pine he received through the Foster-A-Tree program has grown a significant amount since it was planted. “The evergreen foliage adds color in the winter, and on sunny days the deep green needles against the blue sky are really nice. The tree handles our hot summers really well, and by following the Foster-A-Tree guidelines with the watering bag, it had no trouble getting through the July and August heat during its first few years.” Dave keeps mulch spread around the base and applies supplemental water now and then during periods of intense drought, but he says that the tree has become very low maintenance now that it’s established. The tree blew over in some heavy winds during its first year, but after repairing the staking materials the tree stood upright. Now the stakes are gone and the tree supports its canopy well, serving as a home and perch for local birds. The Seats enjoyed their experience with the slash pine so much that they added a Flame maple as their second foster tree this past spring. This smaller species was selected through the tree size class guidelines for proximity to surrounding trees and will create a nice understory setting beneath the canopy of the slash pine in future years.

In addition to the benefit of having trees in his yard, Dave enjoys the educational aspect of the Foster-A-Tree program. He says, “It’s been an overall benefit to our property and I’ve just enjoyed the information and tools provided by the Urban Forestry Department. It’s given me a greater sense of appreciation for maintaining our landscape and trying to get it back to its natural state as much as possible. I grew up in east Edmond and have always appreciated how many trees cover this side of town. The program is very educational about the importance of trees to a community.” Dave says he likes the idea of replenishing the urban forest to emulate the natural landscape of our area, an idea that he and his family play a vital role in through their participation in the Foster-A-Tree program.

Registration is now open for the spring planting season at Contact Leigh Martin for more details at 359-4759.

Take a look at other topics in the December 2013 issue of Tree Mail

Check out last season's Foster-A-Tree Spotlight