Broken pots delay Arbor Day plans of Hampstead

April 06, 1994|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,Contributing Writer

Arbor Day will be a little late this year in Hampstead.

The town had planned an Arbor Day celebration and presentation of three Japanese red maple trees at the War Memorial at 10 a.m. today.

But the $1,000 planting pots, ordered from a Pennsylvania-based company called Stoneworks, were broken on their way to Hampstead. The ceremony is expected to be rescheduled later this month, when they are replaced.

The pots, as well as the trees and soil, were purchased with the help of a federal grant in keeping with the town's "Tree City" status.

"We are very aware of the trees in our municipality," said Hampstead Councilwoman Jackie Hyatt. As part of her council duties, she is in charge of the town's Tree Commission.

"We have to meet certain criteria set by the state," Mrs. Hyatt said of the regulations for a Tree City. "We must have a committee, be a budgeted item, and we do plantings."

Mrs. Hyatt said the town must qualify annually for the designation. The tree commission's projects, she said, meet several needs.

"Arbor Day brings a focus on what we do all year," she said. "We purchase a little tree kit for the elementary school. We've done a little video for the schools.

"It's an awareness, and it's really beautiful."

Leo Hastings, chairman of the Tree Commission, called the commission's work "very important as far as planting awareness, and the more trees we plant, the better off the environment will be."

Mrs. Hyatt agreed.

"It's not only the beauty of the tree but how the trees provide a home for birds and help the environment," she said.

Mr. Hastings said the commission, which has 10 members, began four years ago and can be thought of as "stewards of the trees in Hampstead." He and his wife, Cary, are the owners and operators of Tannenhof Nurseries in Hampstead.

The Japanese red maples for the ceremony were purchased from King Street Farm in Hampstead and will be 6 feet tall at the time of planting.

"We batted a few species around [while deciding what type of trees to plant]," said Mr. Hastings. "We wanted something that is going to do well in a pot, and we don't want anything that's going to get huge and take over the War Memorial."

At the countywide Arbor Day ceremony Saturday in Westminster, Hampstead will receive an award for being an active Tree City.

Mr. Hastings, Mrs. Hyatt and others had been scrambling to get everything ready for today's ceremony before the mishap with the pots. Once everything is sorted out, the plants will be settled in to their new home.

"The planters weigh 1,100 pounds," said Mrs. Hyatt. "I don't think anyone will be running away in the middle of the night with them."

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