Old Greenwich School Celebrates Arbor Day with a New Pin Oak

Jennifer Bencivengo, Principal OG School; JoAnn Messina, Director of Greenwich Tree Conservancy; Steve Gospodinoff,Tree Operations Manager; Karen Handal, President Garden Club of Old Greenwich; Bruce Spaman, Greenwich Tree Warden.

Jennifer Bencivengo, Principal Old Greenwich School; JoAnn Messina, Director of Greenwich Tree Conservancy; Steve Gospodinoff,Tree Operations Manager; Karen Handal, President Garden Club of Old Greenwich; Bruce Spaman, Greenwich Tree Warden.

Students helping with mulching Pin Oak Tree with Steve Gospodinoff, Tree Operations Manager.

An Arbor Day Oak tree planting dedication and proclamation took place May 2 at Old Greenwich School with many students attending.

JoAnn Messina of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy organized the event and spoke about the history of Arbor Day and read the Selectman’s Proclamation. Also attending and speaking were  Bruce Spaman, Town Tree Warden; Denise Savageau, Director of Greenwich Conservation Commission; Jennifer Bencivengo, Old Greenwich School Principal; and Karen Handal, President of sponsoring Garden Club of Old Greenwich .

Arbor Day began in 1872 in Nebraska when Sterling Martin a pioneer and journalist, planted trees for wind breaks to hold  the soil in place. Schools took up tree planting and each class would plant and care for a tree. It then became a national and international event.

The benefits of trees is they produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, they absorb water and prevent flooding and erosion, they support wildlife and provide shade and cooling temperature.

This is the second Oak tree the Garden Club of Old Greenwich has sponsored. The Pin Oak planted in front of Old Greenwich School will support over 500 species of larvae, the food source for all hatchlings.

It takes about 5,000 larvae to support a clutch of chickadees according to Doug Tallamy, entomologist and Author of “Bringing Nature Home.”

Assembling Old Greenwich School students.


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  • Marlene Condon

    If you are interested in helping wildlife, you may have heard and taken to heart Doug Tallamy’s advice to plant an oak tree. This University of Delaware ecology professor has been working hard to encourage folks all across the land to plant one.

    Unfortunately, his message has been lost in translation as garden columnists and bloggers tend to misinterpret the advice and spread misinformation to the public. They often tell readers that planting an oak will provide food for over 500 species of Lepidoptera (moth and butterfly) caterpillars, which will provide an abundance of food for a chickadee (a cute bird anyone would want to assist) and its chicks.

    However, a single oak tree is not going to live up to that expectation. Professor Tallamy is referring to the entire genus of oaks, comprising about 60 species of these trees in the United States. Your lonesome oak is only going to support a fraction of the species total promoted by the professor.

    TAKEN FROM http://www.crozetgazette.com/2017/01/blue-ridge-naturalist-tallamys-oak/