Hartman provides tutorial on state of trees

Posted 1/22/18

Cleveland Urban Forester Dan Hartman recently gave members of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club a look at what goes into maintaining the city’s trees. 

Hartman, who has served in his role for …

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Hartman provides tutorial on state of trees


Cleveland Urban Forester Dan Hartman recently gave members of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club a look at what goes into maintaining the city’s trees. 

Hartman, who has served in his role for 22 years, said three workers regularly plant and take care of all the trees located on city property. This includes all the trees along the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, outside public buildings and in public rights-of-way. 

“Our efforts truly are to beautify the city,” Hartman said. “It’s about quality of life.” 

Among the considerations workers have while maintaining the trees is safety. They are the ones who will look at whether a tree is, for example, causing visibility issues along a road. 

Though Hartman and the other workers within the city’s Landscape Maintenance Division only do work on private property, they will also consult with private homeowners. They can give advice on everything from what to do about a diseased tree to which trees are best to plant. 

“That’s a service the city offers as well, which is a plus,” Hartman said. 

The division has been involved with a lot of different beautification projects around Cleveland. Hartman said one of his favorites has been one stretching the length of 25th Street. 

The city has been working to plant trees and other foliage in the road medians, along with rock drainage systems. Hartman calls these “modified rain gardens.”  

These efforts have turned concrete drainage ditches into gardens which offer a decidedly more natural look. Hartman said he hopes to keep adding more of these gardens along 25th Street, provided the Tennessee Department of Transportation keeps granting permission. 

“On paper, I’ve got it going all the way down 25th, from I-75 to Spring Creek,” Hartman said. 

When they are not out planting or taking care of trees, workers with the division spend part of their time cultivating new one. 

The city has its own tree nursery, located off Mouse Creek Road, where seedlings are grown and prepared for planting. Hartman said he chooses to grow seedlings instead of purchasing more mature trees, as this saves quite a bit of money. 

Hartman also spoke about the city’s Memorial Tree Program, which also provides extra income for forestry efforts. 

For $175, anyone can have a tree planted in a person’s honor. This tree is placed along with an eight by 12-inch granite marker with a dedication message. 

“It’s becoming a really, really popular program,” Hartman said. 

In fact, many of the trees planted alongside the greenway are accompanied by memorial markers. Hartman said he loves this program, because it helps honor someone while also contributing to the city’s forestry budget. 

At the close of the meeting, Matthew Coleman, president of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club, noted this club has partnered with the Cleveland Rotary Club to provide trees through this program. 

This year, Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged each Rotary club “to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members.” 

The clubs recently made a donation of $4,000 to the Cleveland Tree Board to kick off this effort locally. 


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