Fort Gordon receives Tree City USA growth recognition for 21st year
This project is to encourage everyone to plant a tree to honor those who have served our country in a patriotic way through civilian or military life such as firefighters, police, and members of the armed forces, according to Robert Drumm, chief of the Fort Gordon Natural Resources Branch.
Drumm joined Fort Gordon firefighters; Allen Braswell, the installation forester; and Levi Smith, a Fort Gordon forester, in planting three 8-foot Nuttall Oak trees behind Fire Station One, at the corner of Rice Road and Brainard Avenue Feb. 20.
“ We chose the Fort Gordon Fire Department to receive these trees because the firefighters are very important first responders,” Drumm said. “They had this nice barbecue area in the back [of the fire station], but there was no shade. The trees will provide shade and a nice area to relax in.”
“In order to qualify as a Tree City USA community, we had to meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters,” Drumm explained. “First we had to have a tree board or department. We use our environmental control committee to meet this requirement.”
“Second, we needed a Tree Care Ordnance,” he added. “We use the Army regulations and the post’s natural resources plan to meet this requirement. And finally, we needed an Arbor Day observance and proclamation, which the garrison commander, Col. Samuel G. Anderson, signed.”
These standards were established to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program, according to the Arbor Day Foundation website. Their mission is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
“Trees are very important to the environment because they provide clean air and water,” Drumm said. “The trees we planted today [Feb. 20] will lower the energy costs of this building.”
One of the firefighters who helped in the planting of the trees, David Edmiston, said they felt honored to be recipients of this special gift.
The Nuttall Oak, (Quercus nuttallii or Quercus texana), planted behind Fire Station One, is quite popular as a shade tree in city parks and in other landscaping projects. It was named for a British-American botanist Thomas Nuttall and became an official species in 1927. It’s also known as the red oak or Red River oak. It will produce leaves 4 to 9 inches long and 2 to 5 inches wide. Leaf color ranges from reddish purple new growth in spring to dark green in summer and fall foliage will be a rich russet red. The acorns produced by the tree will provide a ready supply of food for squirrels, deer and turkeys.