• Alaska Division of Forestry Community Forestry Program to host tree care and planting classes in Sitka

A cluster of Parkland apples (photo from the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association gallery, http://www.apfga.org/)

A cluster of Parkland apples (photo from the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association gallery, http://www.apfga.org/)

The Alaska Division of Forestry Community Forestry Program, in partnership with Sitka Tree and Landscape Committee, is coordinating three classes on tree health care and planting in Sitka. The classes are open to the public at no charge. Sign-up beforehand is not required. The schedule is as follows:

  • Diagnosing Tree Health Problems
    Monday, June 3, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
    Bob Gorman, UAF Cooperative Extension Service Sitka Office
    Natural Resources & Community Development Faculty
    Learn to observe signs and symptoms and to gather information about the biological, environmental, and cultural factors that affect a tree’s health.
  • Tree Selection, Planting, & Care
    Tuesday, June 4, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
    Patricia Joyner, Alaska Division of Forestry
    Community Forestry Program Manager and certified arborist
    Learn to select the right site, choose a high quality tree, and plant and maintain it.
  • Plant a Tree
    Wednesday, June 5, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
    Patricia Joyner
    Help plant trees in a city park. Apply what you learned in Wednesday’s class in the real world.

The classes will be held at Harrigan Centennial Hall on Monday and Tuesday and will meet at Centennial Hall on Wednesday before going to Sealing Cove for a tree planting. For information, contact the Division of Forestry at patricia.joyner@alaska.gov, 907-269-8465, or Lynne Brandon, Sitka Parks and Recreation, at 747-1852.

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• Sitka Health Summit project to plant 200 fruit trees gains momentum

A cluster of Parkland apples (photo from the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association gallery, http://www.apfga.org/)

A cluster of Parkland apples (photo from the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association gallery, http://www.apfga.org/)

The work group formed during the 2010 Sitka Health Summit to plant 200 fruit trees in Sitka met on Monday, Nov. 8, and the project is gaining momentum.

The group plans to plant 200 apple, crabapple or cherry trees in Sitka before the next Sitka Health Summit on Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2011. The work group has been researching which trees grow best in Sitka’s climate, researching possible funding sources, and researching possible locations to plant 200 fruit trees around the community. The work group also might plant some berry bushes around town to complement the fruit trees.

The group will go public with some of its plans during the Sitka Conservation Society‘s wild foods potluck and annual meeting from at 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

A couple of members in the work group attended the city’s Tree and Landscape Committee’s meeting later in the week and presented a list of about 3-4 dozen locations around Sitka they think might make good locations for fruit trees.

Notes from both meetings are posted below as PDF files. The next meeting for the 200 fruit trees in Sitka work group is from 7-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. For more information, contact Kari Lundgren at kari.lundgren@searhc.org or 738-2089.

• Notes from the Sitka Fruit Tree Planting Work Group meeting held on Nov. 8, 2010

• List of possible fruit tree locations presented at the Sitka Tree and Landscape Committee