Late in 2009, it was noticed that the trunk of the tree was split,
posing a danger to park patrons and those who used the parking along
Kickapoo and Pekin streets.
The city street and alley department
provided barricades to keep pedestrians and vehicles from getting
too close to the ailing tree, and in March of this year it was cut
Latham Park belongs to Logan County, but Tracy Jackson, head of
the city of Lincoln forestry department, said he had told the county
that if they would take the old tree down, the city would put in a
new one as a part of their annual Arbor Day observance.
Wednesday afternoon, a small group representing both the city and
the county gathered to officially plant this year's Arbor Day tree,
a red maple.
Jackson said that the young tree will grow to an eventual height
of about 60 feet and will take approximately 30 years to reach full
Those who assisted with the planting were the city council
members from Ward 3, David Armbrust and Joni Tibbs; county board
representatives Jan Schumacher and Bret Aukamp; along with help from
the city's assistant street superintendent, Russell Wright, with
oversight from Jackson.
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The city of Lincoln has long held a designation of a
"Tree City" and is recognized as such by the National Arbor Day
To maintain the Tree City status, there must be a
designated city official or volunteer tree advocate who has
authority over the management and care of the city's urban forest;
must have a community tree ordinance that specifically recognizes
the designated tree authority and identifies urban forest management
and tree care standards that the community will abide by; expend $2
per resident for its urban forestry program; and conduct an annual
Arbor Day tree planting ceremony.
As the planting progressed, Schumacher was heard to
say that she felt it was really nice that the city and county could
work together on this project.
[By NILA SMITH]