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Idaho Enterprise

Scouts Plant Trees at Courthouse for Arbor Day

With the help of Chris Showell and Ruth Zivkovic, local Boy Scout Troop 1776 spent last Thursday afternoon planting trees in front of the Oneida County Courthouse in observation of Arbor Day.  Bill Lewis directed the group of boys, including Cruz Carter, Zach Crowther, Jace Nalder, Jaxon Purdum, Jaxon Shandrew, Luke Schow, and Grady Williams.  Together, the boys planted four Kindred Spirit Oak trees at the base of the courthouse’s west lawn, which will frame the front entrance to the building in the years to come.

The Kindred Spirit Oaks were donates by the city of Malad, and a Pocatello nursery for regional beautification.  The trees can grow up to 30 feet tall, but maintain a relatively narrow base.  “You’d think they were planting trees their whole lives!” Zivkovic said, smiling on as the boys dug out the holes for the trees to be placed in.  Trees need to be planted deeply enough that the root crown is level with the lip of the hole when a shovel is placed across it horizontally.  The root ball then needs to be cut into to free the twisting roots, and the water needs to be partially filled with manure and water, then dirt, more manure, and a bit more water.  “Well, sure, Ruth,” Lewis said.  “With a little instruction from people like you we can all learn a lot!”

Ruth Zivcovik refers to herself as Malad’s “Tree Lady,” and reminisced about her time on the city council, during which she spearheaded the planting of a large number of trees in the city park.  “I just wanted to bring something beautiful into the city,” she said.  “When you go for a walk on that greenbelt, you be sure to say hi to my trees,” she smiled.  

For his part, Lewis felt like it was a good opportunity to reinforce the idea of contributing to the community to the scouts, as well as give them some practical skills in then area of horticulture and ecology.  “It’s not officially Arbor day until tomorrow, but we thought this was a great opportunity to get the boys out here for a good project today.”

The Kindred Oak grows roughly a foot to a foot and a half a year, which will make it easy to track the upward progress of this new addition to the city’s greenscape over the years.

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