City of Puyallup to celebrate state Arbor Day on Saturday

Volunteers to plant 50 trees along West Stewart that won’t obstruct power lines

Staff writerApril 16, 2014 

More than 40 blossoming trees were removed along West Stewart last month, but there will be an opportunity Saturday to plant new ones.

Puyallup has joined with the state Department of Natural Resources to present an Arbor Day celebration from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers can help plant 50 trees along West Stewart to replace the trees that had grown more than 25 feet tall and obstructed power lines.

Volunteers also will learn how to plant and prune trees.

State forester Aaron Everett will hand a Tree City USA award to Puyallup Mayor John Knutsen, said Chris Beale, the city’s certified arborist.

Saturday will mark the first time Puyallup has had an Arbor Day celebration. It’s an annual requirement that comes with a Tree City USA designation. The city applied for the designation and was awarded it last December.

Ben Thompson, an urban forestry specialist for the DNR, said Puyallup will continue to apply each December to retain its designation.

“We’re partnering with Puget Sound Energy on the event to plant trees that won’t grow into the power lines,” Beale said. “There will be a presentation by the state forester. City staff and Puget Sound Energy will do a demonstration on how to properly plant trees.”

The demonstration will teach the “right tree, right place” concept, Beale said.

“We want to engage everybody in tree care and celebrating trees in the community,” Beale added.

Puyallup City Council member Heather Shadko, a self-proclaimed “tree geek,” said it was a no-brainer for Puyallup to receive the Tree City USA designation.

“(This designation) tells people we’re concerned about the environment and that it’s a community that is a little bit greener,” Shadko said. “Being a community that says trees are important is a commitment for 100 years.”

Shadko said she will help volunteers on Saturday.

“It will be a big project,” she said. “It will be nice to see those trees be put back in. It makes people happier seeing blossoming trees in the spring.”

Shadko said she hopes children will be part of the effort.

“Kids are great to get them environmentally conscious,” she said. “They’re already there, so if we can get them on the trees, it will make a big difference down the road. When they grow up, doing good things for the environment will be so ingrained in them.”

Those who wish to participate can meet at the Puyallup High School parking lot at the corner of 7th Street Northwest and 3rd Avenue Northwest. For more information, call Beale at 253-841-5418 or email

Puyallup is one of more than 80 municipalities in the state with a Tree City USA designation.

Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes Twitter: @herald_andrew

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