Apple trees are laden with fruit this month, after a dismal season last year. Other fruit and nut trees are thriving, as well, but need special attention as Iowa continues a streak of dry weather.
Eastern Iowans interested in learning more about the proper care of fruit and nut trees are in luck. Marion-based Trees Forever is offering a new training program called Fruit TreeKeepers, where volunteers can learn essential information about these trees.
You don’t have to live on a farm or acreage to plant fruit trees, as smaller varieties are available for even the tiniest of yards.
Special Projects Coordinator Heath Hupke of Trees Forever said a limited number of spots are still available for the two sessions, which start Sept. 10. The class is a series, so participation in both is encouraged.
Here is more about the new program, from Trees Forever:
CEDAR RAPIDS – The new Fruit TreeKeepers training program, sponsored by Trees Forever, fills a need in the local foods movement.
Trees Forever has been planting more fruit trees throughout the Cedar Rapids area in response to the growing interest in eating healthier, more sustainable foods. With that comes a need for volunteers knowledgeable about caring for these trees. The new Fruit TreeKeepers program is designed to provide that information to area residents, with initial classes set for Sept. 10 and 24.
“This is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to learn about the latest growth area in sustainable foods,” said Heath Hupke, Special Projects Coordinator for Trees Forever. “As the interest in fruit and nut trees heightens, more people are needed with knowledge about the special care these trees require.”
During the two-part series, volunteers will participate in classroom and hands-on training to learn about:
- Tree biology;
- Proper planting and maintenance;
- Fruit and nut tree varieties
- Organic tree management and care, such as pruning, disease and pest control;
- Harvesting techniques
Through the program, Fruit TreeKeepers will become tree ambassadors who actively participate in fruit and nut tree plantings in their neighborhood and community; gain hands-on experience in caring for fruit and nut trees and protect their community’s trees.
Details: Classes will be 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24 at Prairiewoods, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha. Cost is $30. The program is a series, so attendance at both classes is encouraged.
To register, go to www.TreesForever.org and click on Fruit TreeKeepers under “events.”
For more information, contact Heath Hupke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-373-0650, ext. 119.
Fruit TreeKeepers is sponsored by Trees Forever, with generous support from Diamond V Mills and Trees Forever members.
Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization based in Marion, IA committed to planting trees, encouraging community involvement and stewardship, and caring for the environment. Programs focus on improving air and water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, providing substantial energy savings and beautifying our landscape. For more information visit www.treesforever.org or call 800-369-1269.