From staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Trees are once again available for residents and certain nonprofits of Joplin and Duquesne who are rebuilding from the 2011 tornado.
Applications for free trees are available at the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department’s maintenance location, 3010 W. First St., and at Duquesne City Hall, 15th Street and Duquesne Road. The trees are being made available in a joint project by Forest ReLeaf of St. Louis, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the cities of Joplin and Duquesne.
“We have a good inventory of trees to offer and encourage homeowners to take advantage of this free opportunity through a large number of generous donations designated for the replacement of trees,” said Sam Anselm, assistant Joplin city manager, in a statement. “Trees are a wonderful asset to a home as well as to our community. Rebuilding is occurring throughout the city and re-establishing an urban forest is an important step in the process.”
Residents may obtain up to three free trees 4 to 6 feet tall. Enough trees are available for 450 applicants. More trees will be available in the fall.
A wide variety of trees and shrubs is available. They include trees that are small in size when they reach maturity. They are suitable for planting in areas where power lines are close.
The city has a list of trees on its website at www.joplinmo.org. Empire District Electric Co. also has information on its website at www.empiredistrict.com under a link slugged “Trees.”
Volunteers will be provided to plant the trees for homeowners who want or need help with the work. The trees also can be delivered. They will be available in March and April, and those who intend to plant them will get them sooner than those who ask for volunteer assistance.
It is recommended that residents wait until their houses are finished before planting the trees to avoid damage during construction work.
Once the trees are planted, regular watering is recommended. Trees should be thoroughly watered once or twice a week.
The program to help Joplin with reforestation as a result of the tornado damage has resulted in the donation of 8,616 trees so far. They have been distributed to 1,060 households, as well as to city parks and streetscapes. A total of 2,142 donors have contributed trees. As of Feb. 14, 4,193 of the trees had been planted by volunteers.
Nonprofits such as churches and schools also may apply to receive the trees.
CITY OFFICIALS say before trees are planted, Dig-Rite must be contacted to locate and designate where utility lines exist underground at a property. People may call 800-344-7483 or go online to www.mo1call.com.