In the forestry milieu, Ed Macie is kind of a big deal. Before retiring to Asheville, he directed the U.S. Forest Service’s urban forestry program for the southern United States. These days, he’s focusing his time and expertise on Asheville’s beloved — and threatened — urban trees.
Macie serves as chair of the Asheville Tree Commission, which recently produced an analysis of Asheville’s urban forests. The study reviewed everything from tree management best practices to current tree-related ordinances and how much Asheville spends on its trees.
“What we found was Asheville was doing really well, but there were places where we can improve,” says Macie.
In response, Asheville GreenWorks, the Tree Commission and the city joined forces to host a four-part workshop series on tree care this spring.
“We want to build awareness about the need for protecting our trees and maintaining them properly,” says Dawn Chavez, executive director of GreenWorks.
The workshops kick off on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m. with an educational talk followed by a hands-on planting demonstration at 14 Riverside Drive.
Attendees will learn techniques for successful tree planting, including selecting the best tree species for different soil types, preparing the hole, caring for root systems, mulching and watering, according to Chavez.
Then on Wednesday, April 25, 6-7:30 p.m., the nonprofit will offer a class and demonstration on basic pruning principles at the city of Asheville’s public works facility at 161 S. Charlotte St. Eric Bradford of Asheville GreenWorks explains that an earlier date for the pruning workshop had to be canceled because of rain.
The third workshop on Thursday, May 3, at 4:30 p.m. will cover tree considerations for homeowners such as basic tree biology and survival needs, in addition to tree identification and the benefits urban trees bring to the city.
The fourth and final installment of the series, held Thursday, May 10, at 3 p.m., will focus on more advanced principles of tree care and maintenance for the benefit of property managers and landscape professionals. Continuing education credits from the International Society of Arboriculture will be available to attendees, adds Chavez.
GreenWorks will also stage a Love Your Trees Asheville event on Saturday, April 21. Beginning at 2 p.m., volunteers will adorn trees in Pack Square Park with knitted “tree huggies,” Chavez says.
From reducing atmospheric carbon to mitigating stormwater runoff, supporting pollinator populations and improving water quality in streams and aquifers, Macie notes, trees play a central role in our lives.
“It’s just a long, long list that all comes down to the health of our environment and the health and well-being of people,” he says. “We tend to take them for granted, but they work very hard for us, and we need to nurture them.”
WHAT: Asheville GreenWorks tree planting workshop
WHEN: Sunday, April 22, 2-4 p.m.
WHERE: 14 Riverside Drive, Asheville
WHO: Open to the public; registration required
INFO: ashevillegreenworks.org or firstname.lastname@example.org