Months after the community’s iconic poplar trees were cut down, the Stansbury Park Service Agency will host an Arbor Day celebration to plant 100 sycamore trees this Saturday.
The service agency is looking for volunteers in Stansbury Park and Tooele County to help plant the new trees, starting at 9 a.m. Replacing the poplars as quickly as possible was a priority for the board, said Randall Jones, Stansbury Park Service Agency manager.
“We wanted to put them back in as soon as we could,” he said.
Crews from the service agency will pre-drill holes for the trees, which will line Stansbury Parkway. Jones said volunteers should meet at the ball field on Stansbury Parkway and bring shovels and work gloves for planting the trees.
The sycamore trees are a newer variety called “Exclamation,” which are resistant to fungal diseases. Each of the trees planted will be about 2-3 inches in diameter, with fairly developed roots, said Gary Jensen, a service agency board member and certified arborist.
When they reach maturity, the sycamores should be about 60-feet tall with a broader canopy than the poplars, Jensen said. While the poplars had only a 25 year life expectancy, the sycamores should keep going strong for more than 60 years, he said.
More than 220 poplar trees were cut down last year after Jensen noticed the trees were dead or dying. The poplars had begun to fall during strong storms and many were hollow inside, creating a danger for vehicles, homes and people, he said.
Another benefit of the sycamore trees is they’re bigger, yet will actually have less expansive root growth. Poplars reproduce using suckers, miniature tree offshoots that are a product of the root network of the main tree, Jensen said.
Each sycamore tree will cost about $100 and were purchased from Schmidt Nursery in West Jordan.
In addition to planting the sycamores, volunteers will get donuts and blue spruce saplings with instructions on how and where to plant them. The 10- to 15-inch saplings shouldn’t be planted underneath power lines; even the sycamores will need to be trimmed to accommodate the lines as they reach maturity, Jensen said.
“Hopefully people can take some ownership in planting the trees,” he said.
Once the trees are planted, which is expected to take about 15 to 20 minutes per tree, Jones said volunteers are encouraged to help the Benson Gristmill cleanup, which will run from 8 a.m. to noon on the same day.
Volunteers for the Benson Gristmill cleanup should bring gloves, shovels, rakes, buckets and other yard tools. Lunch for volunteers will be provided.