The Great Tree Canopy Comeback in Indiana

Fort Wayne

Originally published October 2014

In 2001 the community landscape report provided by the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana discussed the need to replace the tree canopy in several parks and public spaces. That year, the Friends of the Parks held the inaugural Great Tree Canopy Comeback event. The event literally brings new life to the tree canopies of Fort Wayne and Allen County. Holly Hunter, chair of the event spoke with Arborjet about the importance of saving and planting community trees:

Successful Partnerships

“We created a partnership with the local park systems and other organizations that have coupled with us. We take care of the fundraising for the trees and they select the variety. We all work together to determine which parks are in need of planting to determine our plan. The final stage is recruiting volunteers for planting. Over the years we have been successful in achieving the goals in the Cultural Landscape report, and have consistently responded to the need in this community after drought, storms, Emerald Ash Borer, and the natural life span of healthy trees.”

This Weekend’s Event

“This Saturday more than 270 trees will be planted throughout Allen County. We are anticipating nearly 300 volunteers planting trees throughout the eight parks. We can always use donations and we certainly need additional volunteers for the weekend.”

Ownership in the Community

“I got involved with the program because I am passionate about the parks and trees. We have families and groups that have been participating from the start and look forward to the event every year. It’s neat to see people take ownership of their parks and remember the trees they planted in previous years. We are teaching the community the proper way to plant a tree, which can be surprisingly tricky and potentially fatal to the tree if done incorrectly.”

The Arborjet Connection

“Arborjet’s TREE-äge product saved many mature trees in our community. Due to our large ash population the municipality was limited to injecting trees in specific areas where the town felt they were critical to the landscape. We are thrilled to be able to preserve the health of so many trees and protect them from EAB.”

Learn From Experience

People look at the park system when they are looking to move to an area. We have a great park system that is incredibly valuable to our community and we want to continue that. I hope that other communities suffering from EAB devastation will look to us and similar municipalities with successful management plans. We encourage everyone to identify and treat valuable trees before they are compromised and in need of replacement.”