EATON — Mayor Gary Wagner and other local officials took part in a dedication ceremony at Mound Hill Union Cemetery on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
The ceremony honored Ohio’s third-largest Norway Spruce, which stands near the corner of W. Main St. and Camden Road in the western portion of the cemetery, where it shelters the graves of several local veterans. The tree, thought to be nearly 300 years old, stands taller than any other object nearby and reportedly measures 12 feet in circumference.
Scott Trochelman was present for Wednesday’s ceremony. Trochelman works for Greenbush Professional Services LLC, an organic lawn care company in Camden. Trochelman studies trees, he said, including examining them for signs of disease and insect destruction.
“I’d been working on some trees very close to here, and as I was finishing up I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll check out the cemetery and see how those trees are doing,’” Trochelman said. “And this one is kind of hard to miss – it’s not like you’re gonna hide it!”
Once Trochelman saw the massive tree he was unable to get it out of his mind.
“I couldn’t get over the sheer size of it,” Trochelman said. “I knew there had to be something different about it. Yet so many people drive past it every day and probably never gave it a second thought.”
Trochelman contacted Greenbush owner David Myers and ArborJet Midwest Technical Manager Kevin Lewis, who also attended the ceremony. ArborJet treats trees for disease and insect infestation.
Lewis treated the Mound Hill Spruce by injecting it with a chemical called Treeage which protects against over 70 different types of insects. The tree was also drenched with a growth regulator called Shortstop that “refocuses energy into root growth,” according to Lewis, and a substance called BioMP that improves the biology of the surrounding soil.
“The plan is to come out next year and do a deep-root fertilization, and then repeat every other year after that,” Lewis said.
Lewis indicated that due to insect predation, root damage from mowing equipment, and heat radiating from the nearby asphalt, the tree likely would have had only three-to-five years of life left without these treatments.
“Now it’ll hopefully last for hundreds of years,” Lewis said. “That’s the goal.”
“We’re doing this so our grandkids and our grandkids’ grandkids can continue to enjoy this tree,” he said.
Myers indicated it was also very appropriate that the event took place on Veterans Day. Members of the local genealogical society placed pictures near the graves of veterans sheltered beneath the tree.
“The ceremony was also for our veterans,” Myers said. “It jives very well with the history, and with what this tree has witnessed.”
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish