By KATHLEEN EVANOFF
Liberty Community News
The Men's Garden Club of Youngstown's mission to restore elm trees to the area has extended into Liberty with the donation of a tree for the township cemetery.
Members of the Men’s Garden Club of Youngstown donated an Elm Tree to the township, which was planted Nov. 9 in the township cemetery on Belmont Avenue. Pictured, from left, are Mike Adler, township administrator Pat Ungaro, township trustee Jodi Stoyak and Gus Economos.
Former Liberty resident and garden club member Larry Whetson recently purchased the tree through the Bud Kindelan Memorial Elm Tree Fund. Whetson, a longtime resident of the community, recently moved to Texas to be close to his family. The tree, purchased at Klyn Nursery in Lake County, is a Jefferson American Elm, a variety cultivated to be tolerant of Dutch Elm disease, the ailment responsible for wiping out all American Elms in the 1960s.
Another American Elm, 'New Harmony,' was planted in the cemetery last year, also a donation from the garden club.
''We're hoping the trees will cross pollinate and produce more elm trees in the area,'' said Larry Tooker, a member of the garden club.
So far the club has planted 25 elm trees in the area, including 15 trees at Mill Creek Park, Tooker said.
The tree, which grows about two to three feet each year, was planted on the east side of the cemetery.
''We've lost some trees over the years on this side of the cemetery,'' said township trustee Jodi Stoyak.
The township will maintain the tree, making sure it gets enough water so that the roots can get established before winter, Stoyak said.
''Fall is a good time to plant a tree because the leaves aren't growing and there's not much demand on the roots,'' said garden club historian, Robert Stoss.
Township trustees recognized the Men's Garden Club of Youngstown with a resolution at the regular meeting of trustees held Nov. 13.