We received the news this past weekend that two of the three trees we planted at The Point of Beginning (the historic spot where three states meet: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) have been vandalized.
According to our local planting partner Ohioville, Pa. Mayor John Szatkiewicz, the trees we planted for Ohio and Pennsylvania (a Buckeye and a Honeylocust, respectively) had all of their leaves ripped off and their upper branches broken. Our sources say the vandalism looked intentional, and a story that ran in Saturday’s issue of The Review further confirmed it. How upsetting! Who would do such a thing?
Of course, we’re now wondering: what do you do when you hear this kind of news?
First of all, you need to examine the tree to determine if it can be saved. Are any of the major limbs broken? Is the trunk split? According to this article in The Houston Chronicle you should ask yourself, “is at least 50 percent of the tree’s crown (branches and leaves) still intact? This is a good rule of thumb on tree survivability. A tree with less than half of its branches remaining may not be able to produce enough foliage to nourish the tree through another season.” That article has a LOT of good advice if you’re wondering about a tree on your property.
Luckily, youth might be on our side for the trees we planted for Ohio and Pennsylvania. Since they’re so young, they might actually be “too young to die”…we may be able to save them. The best thing to do in our case is to remove any broken branches and give the tree time to heal. If the the tree’s leader is intact and the structure for future branching remain, the trees might stand a fighting chance!
The wishes of many residents from each of the three participating states were planted under these trees, and the day was historic in that it was the first time that officials from the tree adjacent states came together on a project like this. These trees must be allowed to come back to health and grow to large adult trees – please, if you’re in the area of The Point of Beginning (just outside Pittsburgh), stop by and give them some love!