Property owners have to see the forest and the trees

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 4, 2011

With most leaves fallen off the trees and the end of fall upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on the benefits of landscape trees.

Trees provide many benefits but there are many misconceptions about trees in an urban landscape and several local organizations are collaborating to inform citizens of the Tri-State about urban tree landscaping.

Ohio University Southern is opening its doors to a cooperative effort by the Iron Furnace Cooperative Weed Management Area with Ironton In Bloom Inc. to provide a free informative seminar about the benefits of proper tree selection for your landscaping needs, tree care and maintenance and how some common tree species are invading forests of our area.

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Carol Allen, co-director of Ironton In Bloom, Inc., is excited for citizens to learn more about landscaping with trees.

“Informational classes like this are a great way for us, as a community and individuals, to realize the benefits of proper tree selection for our yards and streets,” she said.

Ann Bonner, an urban forester for the area through ODNR Division of Forestry, will present an informative seminar, “The Best Landscape Tree for Your Yard and Street,” on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Riffe building at Ohio University Southern, 1814 Liberty Avenue, Ironton.

Bonner emphasizes the area could benefit from many of the qualities of trees.

“Trees are on the job 24/7 providing reduced heating and cooling bills, softened train and traffic noise, increased property values, and increased visit lengths for shoppers and visitors,” she said.

To get the most out of your trees Bonner suggests planting hard working trees.

“Shade trees produce higher canopies, require less maintenance and live longer than ornamental trees.”

Bonner’s list of hard working trees includes sugar maples, swamp white oaks, bur oaks, or lindens, but there are many more.

One of the biggest misconceptions about landscaping with trees is treating trees similar to furniture.

“Trees have a specific range of conditions they need to grow and survive. Your yard is not like your living room, where you can buy any furniture and place it in the exact location you want,” Bonner said. “Knowing your yard and the range of conditions it has will allow selection of the best tree for that site and your needs and is more successful and cost effective.”

However, not all trees are good for the area.

Some exotic species of trees are invading our regional forests from landscaping in urban areas. Trees like ornamental pears or paulownia can be highly aggressive and overrun our forests destroying the economic and ecological benefits the forest provides.

“These are also trees to avoid because they are short lived, easily break from ice or wind, require high maintenance, and can cost more over time,” Bonner said.

Anyone interested in landscaping with trees should take advantage of this free informative seminar at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Ohio University Southern.


Eric Boyda is the coordinator of the Iron Furnace Cooperative Weed Management Area. He can be reached at (740) 534-6578 or