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Planting For Posterity: Hundreds Of Baby Trees
Take Root In Tyler
- By JACQUE HILBURN-SIMMONS -
skies, mild temperatures and a heaping helping
of humidity provided near perfect conditions
Tuesday as hundreds of baby trees settled into
new homes in Tyler.
Nestled under the protective canopies of mature
trees in Faulk-ner Park, the tiny newcomers are
expected to one day add a brilliant burst of
spring color to the urban forest.
A soft, springlike breeze added the "ahhhhhhh"
moment to planting activities, offered in
support of Mayor Barbara Bass' Tree Tyler
"We have very optimum planting conditions," Eric
Artmire, certified arborist said. "It's not
cold; it's not hot. Now is the perfect time for
planting, while they (trees) are dormant and
His company, Artmire's Urban Forestry, is
donating 5,000 shade-loving seedlings over the
next five years -- dogwoods, eastern redbuds and
American beautyberries -- to help fulfill the
mayor's goal of planting 5,000 trees within the
next five years.
He's also providing a work plan and special soil
amendments to create an unprecedented, future
splash of color to city-owned properties and
"In the areas where we're planting, you couldn't
ask for better soil," Artmire said. "It has sat
undisturbed for years and years and years. It's
filled with organic matter."
Eric Artmire’s company, Urban Forestry, is
donating 5,000 shade-loving seedlings over the
next five years.
The rich, amended soil should provide ample
nourishment for the young trees, serving
eventually as a complement to Tyler's Azalea and
Spring Flower Trails, he said.
"It will be as pretty as anyone has ever seen,"
Artmire's donation follows a commitment from
LT24, a group of business and civic leaders, to
organize Tree Tyler Day, a communitywide tree
planning event March 19.
Private support for the mayor's green-up plan
also is blossoming -- almost 400 trees have been
planted by individual residents in recent weeks.
The mayor hopes more people will grab a shovel
and help out.
"With this new donation, our annual count will
reach 1,400 trees," Mayor Barbara Bass said.
"Along with our partnership with LT24 and the
upcoming Tree Tyler Day, I have no doubt that we
will reach our goal well ahead of schedule."
Although Artmire's donation meets the mayor's
goal of 5,000 trees, the need still exists for
native sun-loving varieties, such as oaks and
pecans. This is where LT24 and Tyler Tree Day
come into play.
Sponsors, as of Tuesday, included Leo Mack Jr.,
Adams Engineering, Native Plant So-ciety, Tyler
Men's Garden Club, Salon Verve and Bob Shelton
"This is a good way to support Tyler," said
Maegan Schneider, an LT24 member who works as
project manager for Adams Engineering. "We
support Mayor Bass's initiative. This is a way
to get our hands dirty and help support the
program. I like to garden. I'm forcing the guys
to get outside and be involved."
Ms. Schneider, who has dabbled in dirt since
college, is leading the charge to encourage
other engineering firms to join in and help
support the mayor.
The admitted green thumb described her efforts
as promoting a little "healthy competition"
Lee Trammel, another LT24 member, agreed.
"This is a great program for the community,"
said Trammel, marketing director for Feliciano
Financial Group. "It helps the beautification of
our city, and helps us stay green."
Trammel said his interest in the outdoors is
rooted from childhood.
"We always had a garden," he said. "We had
vegetables and fruit. We also planted 100 trees
on our land, oaks and pines. Unfortunately they
didn't all survive. I was a little careless with
LT24 member Brian Pearson,
Tyler Morning Telegraph managing editor, said
Tyler Tree Day has landed verbal sponsorship
commitments from about a dozen companies.
"Some of the biggest businesses in this
community are putting together their
sponsorships for this terrific event," Pearson
said. "But the beauty of it is that almost
anyone can be a sponsor through the purchase of
a single tree for $20, which allows individual
families and Tyler school classrooms to get
"I challenge every school and every classroom in
Tyler to climb aboard this project."
Sponsors not only can donate money but also send
out a team to plant the very trees they
purchased. The city is working on event details.
Green thumbs are not required to participate in
the March 19 event, organizers said.
Tree sites are preselected and irrigated. The
city also will provide planting assistance.
Sponsorship levels and a list of trees suitable
for the area can be found at www.treetyler.com.
The mayor's partnership with LT24 took root
after she challenged members of Leadership Tyler
24 class to get on board with the tree
Class members weighed the possibilities and
ultimately formed LT24 to serve as a community
service group operating outside the program.
Sponsorship opportunities range from a single
tree to larger donations, allowing everyone from
schoolchildren to the largest business an
opportunity to participate, LT24 members said.
Supporters at the $20 "sap-ling" level receive
one tree; $100 "acorn" level, five trees; $500
"redbud" level, 20 trees; $1,500 "dogwood"
level, 50 trees; and $2,500 "live oak" level,
100 trees. All sponsors, except those at the
sapling level, receive a logo on the event
T-shirt, recognition on press releases and a
logo on the Tree Tyler website.
Live oak sponsors are recognized also on the
event banner, in advertisements, press releases
and future printings of Tree Tyler brochure.
The Tree Tyler Initiative echoes a commitment
made more than 20 years ago by the TREES
Committee, to reforest city parks and public
spaces and educate the community about the
Residents responding to the call for public
input on Tyler 21 in 2006 said protecting the
city's trees should be a top priority for the
long-range development plan.
The mayor's 2015 Tree Tyler Initiative was
launched in April, the same day the city was
named an official member of Tree City USA,
sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Earlier sponsors include TXU, Wright Tree Farm,
Keep Tyler Beautiful, Smith County Extension
Services, East Texas Medical Center, Tyler
Junior College, Texas Forest Service and The
University of Texas at Tyler.
receives donation of 1,000 trees -
Planting to begin this week
|As part of the
Mayor’s Tree Initiative, Artmire’s Urban
Forestry has donated 1,000 trees per year for
the next five years to be planted at select
locations in Faulkner Park, Rose Rudman Trail
and Creekside Trail. The project includes all
seedlings, amendments and labor for the
plantings of Dogwoods, Eastern Redbud and
American Beauty Berry. Planting is expected to
“We are so thankful to Artmire’s for their
generous donation,” commented Mayor Barbara
Bass. “This is a huge step forward in our effort
to plant trees throughout the City and to keep
Tyler’s urban forest thriving.”
The Mayor’s Tree Tyler initiative was launched
in early 2010 with a goal to plant 5,000 trees
in five years. Residents are encouraged to
register their tree plantings on the Tree Tyler
web page www.TreeTyler.com. Since the launch of
the program, nearly 400 trees have been
“With this new donation, our annual count will
reach 1,400 trees,” added Mayor Bass. “Along
with our partnership with LT24 and the upcoming
Tree Tyler Day, I have no doubt that we will
reach our goal well ahead of schedule.”
The City is partnering with LT 24 to hold Tree
Tyler Day on March 19, 2011. Tree Tyler Day will
give the community the opportunity to come
together to work toward reaching the Mayor’s
goal of planting 5,000 trees in five years at an
inaugural communitywide tree planting event.
The partnership sprouted when Mayor Bass spoke
with members of the Leadership Tyler 24 class
and challenged them to get on board to support
the Tree Tyler Initiative. Many members of the
class met several times to discuss how they
could become involved and ultimately formed
Between now and the March event, LT 24 will be
seeking sponsors for the tree planting event.
With sponsorship opportunities ranging from a
single tree all the way to 100 trees, the entire
community, from school classes to the City’s
largest businesses, is encouraged to
participate. A flyer detailing Tree Tyler Day
sponsorship opportunities is available online at
www.TreeTyler.com or on the City of Tyler web
page at www.cityoftyler.org.
Sponsors who have already committed to the event
include: Leo Mack Jr., Adams Engineering, the
Native Plant Society, Tyler Men’s Garden Club,
Salon Verve and the Bob Shelton Family.
To sign up as a Tree Tyler Day sponsor, please
contact the Tyler Parks and Recreation
Department at (903) 531-1370.
Donated For Mayor's Initiative
By JACQUE HILBURN-SIMMONS
Staff Writer - Tyler Morning Telegraph
Breath-taking landscapes start as twigs.
That's the philosophy of certified arborist Eric Artmire, who is stepping up
to help fulfill Mayor Barbara Bass's Tree Tyler Initiative of planting 5,000
new trees within the next five years.
His company, Artmire's Urban Forestry, is donating 5,000 seedlings over the
next five years -- dogwoods, eastern redbuds and American beautyberries.
As part of his donation, Artmire also will provide a work plan, special soil
amendments and labor to create a pop of brilliant spring color to the
city-owned properties and corridors.
"This is not something that will happen overnight," Artmire said. "Once (the
seedlings) are rooted and acclimated to the area, they will do better than a
He predicts the random plantings, staggered over the next five years, will
create incredible beauty when they reach maturity.
Artmire said the flowering varieties he's donating are "under story,"
meaning they grow in the shade of mature trees. Weather permitting, planting
could start next week, he said.
"It will tickle me to death for people visiting the Azalea Trails to want to
go look at the azaleas and dogwoods in our parks," Artmire said. "It will be
one heck of an impact planting. It will be as pretty as anyone has ever
Mayor Bass expressed appreciation for the twiggy treasures.
"These donations are an amazing start to the Tree Tyler Initiative," she
said. "The spirit of community support they are demonstrating is an
incredible benefit to our efforts to grow our urban forest, and I can't
thank them enough. Hopefully, this will inspire other local businesses to
jump in and commit to sponsoring and planting trees on Tree Tyler Day."
Artmire's donation comes on the heels of a commitment voiced from LT24 to
designate March 19 as Tree Tyler Day, a communitywide tree-planting event.
Group members, who come from business and civic organizations, said they are
determined to help the mayor invigorate the city's urban forest so future
generations can enjoy the area's natural beauty.
Although Artmire's donation meets the mayor's goal of 5,000 trees, the need
still exists for native, sun-loving varieties, such as oaks and pecans, the
kind of trees that will be part of the March 19 communitywide tree-planting
event, city leaders said.
The idea to partner with the mayor sprouted when Mayor Bass challenged
members of Leadership Tyler 24 class to get on board with the tree
Class members met several times afterward to examine the possibilities,
ultimately creating LT24, a community service group operating outside the
program, to make things happen."I think it's crucial" to get involved, said
David Apperley, LT24 class member and American State Bank employee. "We know
we won't see the effects for probably 10, 15, 20 years down the line."
He predicted Tree Tyler Day to be the first of many opportunities to green
up the city.
Apperley said he plans active participation in the mayor's initiative,
emphasizing that he's not scared of shovels, blisters or dirt under the
"I was taught as a kid that builds character," he said.
LT24 is seeking sponsors for the tree-planting event, which offers
opportunities ranging from a single tree for $20 to donations of 100 or even
more. LT24 is contacting many entities including businesses and the Tyler
Independent School District.
Sponsorship levels start at a single tree and grow higher. Trees will be
planted on city-owned properties and parks or roadway corridors.
Options for support include choosing the "sapling" level for $20 receive one
tree; "acorn," $100, five trees; "redbud," $500, 20 trees; "dogwood,"
$1,500, 50 trees; and "live oak," $2,500, 100 trees.
All sponsors, except for those at the sapling level, receive a logo on event
T-shirt, recognition on press releases and a logo on Tree Tyler Web site.
Live oak sponsors also receive a logo on the event banner and recognition in
advertisements, press releases and future printings of Tree Tyler brochure.
Community interest in Tree Tyler Day already is starting to blossom.
"I've been getting calls," said Susan Guthrie, city spokeswoman. "We're
getting a lot of interest in this project."
For example, the Tyler Garden Club has committed to 40 trees, she said.
City leaders said participation is welcome from all ages and abilities.
The mayor admitted with a chuckle she doesn't have a green thumb, but said
gardening expertise is not a requirement for participation.
"I went to the tree planting in November," she said. "They had someone out
there to show us how it's done."
It's not difficult to master the technique, the mayor said.
"All you need is a good shovel to dig with and a pair of gloves to wear so
you won't get blisters," she said.
Planting sites for the March 19 event are pre-selected and irrigated.
For those who need guidance with tree selection, a list of trees suitable
for the area can be found at www.treetyler.com. Planting assistance also is
Some of the more common varieties include crape myrtles, maples, pecans,
oaks and Southern Magnolias.
Artmire plans to plant roughly 1,100 seedlings each winter for the next five
years. Trees range in height from 5 to 16 inches.
Redbuds generally produce bright pink flowers; dogwoods, white. The American
beautyberries produce life-sustaining food for wildlife.
Artmire said he works a lot with the city's parks department and appreciates
the staff's care of the natural resources within the community.
Giving back is appropriate, he said, adding, "It's time for me to do
The Tree Tyler Initiative echoes a commitment made more than 20 years ago by
the TREES Committee, to reforest city parks and public spaces and educate
the community about its green resources.
Residents responding to the call for public input on Tyler 21 in 2006 said
protecting the city's trees should be a top priority for the long-range
The mayor's 2015 Tree Tyler Initiative was launched in April, the same day
the city was designated as one of 3,400 official members of Tree City USA,
sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
TXU, another corporate sponsor, responded to the initiative by donating 105
trees, becoming the first corporate sponsor of the mayor's tree project.
Wright Tree Farm in Edom also donated more than 250 trees, several of them
hardwoods, to encourage and celebrate green living, city leaders said.
Other sponsors include Keep Tyler Beautiful, Smith County Extension
Services, East Texas Medical Center, Tyler Junior College, Texas Forest
Service and The University of Texas at Tyler.
Better Business Bureau Award
Our Clients Are Saying About Artmire's
Thanks for the great job done at the ranch! Your
crew did a phenomenal job clearing brush from
the lake dam and cleaning up dead fall. They
also rescued several large trees with their
accurate pruning. The mulch created has been
used widely in many places out here.
BTW the pine seedlings you planted two years ago
are over head tall and providing the much needed
wind break/privacy screen.
Kudos, and thank you for your continued
S. Holder - Tyler, TX