Two new trees for North Canaan school arboretum
By Karen Bartomioli
May, 05, 2011
NORTH CANAAN — The 21st Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration at North Canaan Elementary School always feels like the first real day of spring. The morning of April 29 was no exception, with warm sunshine chasing away the morning’s chill, and leaves about to burst forth as if waiting for this day.
Everyone headed out to the west side of the school, where not one but two American Hophornbeam trees were newly planted.
They celebrated with the Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic songs and musings on trees written by fifth-graders Karina Heath, Jackson Schopp, Cameron Foley, Victoria Andrews, Sofia Rincon and Konnor Curtis. Representatives from each class dropped shovelfuls of mulch around the trees.
Missing was the initiator of the annual celebration, North Canaan resident Tom Zetterstrom. Over the years, his careful placing of specific trees has turned the school campus into a “childrens’ arboretum.” That effort is just one of the many reasons he was in Nebraska on April 30 to accept the 2011 Public Awareness of Trees Award from the Arbor Day Foundation.
Had he spent Arbor Day here, he would have given the celebrants a detailed and enthusiastic description of the new trees, offering students a view well into the future.
Instead, they got a program description that calls the species a “rather handsome small tree and American native. It is a graceful, pyramidal tree in youth, becoming more rounded with age. The grayish brown exfoliating bark is attractive in the winter months. The 2- to 5-inch long, dark green, sharply serrated leaves develop yellow-brown color and drop early in fall. Wormlike 1 1/2-inch long, yellow –brown male catkins open in April.”
The trees will grow 25 to 40 feet high.
The planting was made possible by the North Canaan Beautification Committee, The Canaan Foundation, Laurelbrook Farm, Toomey Tree Care, the town crew and Tallon Lumber.