Lodi organizers plan for second Arbor Day celebration Saturday

BEA AHBECK/NEWS-SENTINEL Bill Hobson, former arborist for the city, instructs on how to properly plant a tree during the Arbor Day celebration at Hale Park in Lodi Saturday morning, April 7, 2018. The event was organized by Tree Lodi and the City of Lodi.

After planting 100 trees throughout the Heritage District last year, Tree Lodi and community organizers brace for the second Arbor Day celebration in which they expect to plant another 27 trees.

Through the help of local arborists, volunteers will plant live oak, elm, zelkova and shumard oak trees in the curb strip near the roadway.

They chose to plant trees in the curb strip to expand the canopy of trees in the region and increase the carbon exchange in the area, according to Tree Lodi Vice President Gordon Earl Schmierer Sr.

“Our aim is to help improve our environment, and add a beautiful landscape in the region,” Schmierer said.

Volunteers throughout the community will be divided into groups and assigned a planting site.

“We expect to get 50 volunteers to help us get these trees planted. We will provide the shovels and buckets for volunteers along with other tools,” Schmierer said.

Before the trees are planted, a celebration will precede the event with Boy Scout Troop 339 leading people in “The Pledge of Allegiance,” and a performance of the national anthem by The Central Valley Arts and Culture Club.

Lodi City Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce and Lodi Parks Recreation and Cultural Services Director Jeff Hood are expected to say a few words along with representatives from California Urban Forests Council, Cal Fire, and California Releaf.

California Releaf provided Tree Lodi with an Arbor Day grant of $1,500 which was donated to California Releaf by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The grant has allowed tree Lodi to host the arbor day celebration again this year according to Schmierer.

The Lodi Arts Commission will also announce the fifth-graders Arbor Day poster contest. The first place winner will receive a $100 cash prize.

“There will also be seedling giveaways, and stickers and bracelets to people that attend the celebration, and Japanese Maples,” Schmierer said.

Following the ceremony, a tree-planting demonstration will be held at the park and volunteers in attendance will be split up into five groups and dispatched to various planting sites.

From there, volunteers will transfer the 7-foot trees to a pre-dug hole and bury the roots and cover the dirt with mulch.

They will also fasten the tree trunk guard to the tree, to ensure the tree’s survival after being planted Schmierer explained.

The celebration will take place on Saturday, April 6 at 9 a.m. Volunteer check-in will be held at 8:30 a.m. in Hale Park and sign up as a volunteer for Arbor Day celebration email Steve Dutra at sdutra1967@yahoo.com.

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