STRONG TREES STRONG COMMUNITY
Tunkhannock's urban forest benefits its inhabitants by improving air and water quality, absorbing sound and noise, lessening psychological stress, increasing a sense of relaxation, and ultimately, promoting personal and public health. In addition, benefits include reducing energy usage, increasing property values, and furthering economic stability.
The Tunkhannock Tree Association and the Tunkhannock Borough Shade Tree Commission seek to maintain optimum tree cover and a species diversity that improves personal and public health within an aesthetically planned environment.
This aesthetically planned environment can be achieved by planting and maintaining trees along the Tunkhannock Borough streets and public rights-of-way and within municipal open spaces, as well as conducting an effective community forestry program through education and involvement.
TTA Shares Pruning
Step 1: Make a cut about one-third through the branch on the underside of the branch several inches away from the main trunk.
Step 2: Make a second cut on top of the branch just beyond the first cut and contiue cutting until branch falls away.
Step 3: To make the final cut, DO NOT cut the stub flush with the tree trunk. The cut should slope slightly outwards where the branch collar (the swollen area on the top and bottom of the branch where it joins the tree) transitions to the smooth branch bark. DO NOT cut into the branch collar. Do not apply any dressing to the wound.
If a branch is pruned using the correct method described above, the tree will create callus tissue which helps to speed the wound closure process and prevent decay (as can be seen in the above Copper Beech tree located on West Tioga St.).
If a branch is improperly pruned, either cutting the branch flush with the trunk, cutting into the branch collar, or leaving too much branch attached, the tree will not be able to close off the wound with callus tissue. The tree will be weakened and susceptible to disease, insects, and decay.
TTA Proactively Manages Young Street Trees
Throughout the summer of 2016 TTA, in collaboration with the Tunkhannock Borough Shade Tree Commission, began designing the Tunkhannock Proactive Street Tree Health Management Project.
The purpose of the project is to use a proactive approach to safeguarding street tree health and preventing future problems by focusing more attention yearly on the health needs of young trees. This attention includes such activities as structural pruning, identifying and treating disease and infestation, and installing devices to prevent tree trunk and root damage.
Prior to the development of this project, much time and attention has been focused on the pruning issues of the larger street trees that were not managed when the trees were young. The inevitable "why didn't we" question has been voiced over and over and having no reasonable answer to that question, the "time for change" mindset became the catalysis for the design of this project.
TTA Mulch Two-Step
Step 1: Only apply 2-4 inches of mulch around the tree. Mulch that is too thick blocks oxygen needed by the roots and causes root rot as it slows the evaporation of excess moisture.
Step 2: Push mulch away from tree trunk in a radius of 6-8 inches. This exposes the root flare (area where roots are growing out of trunk) and prevents root suffocation. If root flare is covered the inner bark will die leaving the tree unable to send food to the roots.
TTA Tree Bookmarks As Educational Tools
TTA had the opportunity during its 2016 "Be A Voice For Trees" display at the Dietrich Theater to offer free TTA "The Art of Trees" bookmarks to display visitors. The tree pruning and mulching information seen on this web page was also printed on the backs of the bookmarks.
Partner with Tunkhannock Borough
Shade Tree Commission (STC)
The Tunkhannock Shade Tree Commission is a regulatory organization that is appointed by the Tunkhannock Borough Council. There are three STC members who live within the Borough of Tunkhannock. The decisions and actions taken by the STC are governed by Borough Shade Tree Ordinance 2014-2 which includes the regulations for issuing tree pruning and removal permits to borough property owners and overseeing the process of soliciting and awarding tree pruning and removal contracts.
The STC governs the work of the TTA and its mission of planting new trees and ensuring all shade trees located in the public rights-of-way within Tunkhannock Borough are properly maintained. An ISA certified arborist serves on the STC and the TTA who posseses extensive training in tree maintenance practices. Recertification by the ISA requires 30 hours of Continuing Education Credits over a three year period by attending workshops approved by the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture).
Tree Pruning and Removal Permits
If a Tunkhannock Borough property owner is planning to either prune, plant, remove, or alter in any way a tree on the tree lawn abutting his or her property, he or she must first fill out a Tunkhannock Borough Shade Tree Permit and then contact one of the three Tunkhannock Borough Shade Tree Commissioners for a consultation regarding the tree. If the commissioner agrees, then the permit will be signed and the property owner can proceed. The Shade Tree Permit and contact information for the Shade Tree Commissioners are available from the Tunkhannock Borough Office located at 126 Warren St., Tunkhannock, PA.