Sustainability series continues at arboretum with trees, water quality

By Danielle Kaye

Although trees are present in our everyday lives, we rarely take the time to appreciate all the benefits that they provide. On Wednesday, the Lexington community will have the opportunity to learn about trees and water quality.

The event, which is sponsored by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government as a part of an ongoing sustainability series at the UK arboretum, will feature two speakers. Dave Leonard, a consulting arborist, and Chris Barton, an associate professor of forestry at UK, will lecture on the importance of water and trees as valuable resources.

“There are lots of issues with trees, more than you could figure out,” arboretum director Marcia Farris said.

Two main issues surround trees in general, and in Lexington the soil trees are planted in compacted soil. However, issues also revolve around the soil that the trees are planted in, said Leonard.

“As much as 90 percent of tree issues originate with soil,” he said.

When planting a tree, individuals should take into account that soil is alive, Leonard said.

“Without the soil food web working we wouldn’t have trees,” Leonard said.

On his website, Dave Leonard said, “Each of us (are) responsible for over 4,600 pounds of carbon production a year,” and that “trees contribute to a clean, healthy environment as they grow by taking in carbon dioxide from the air and in return, respire life-giving oxygen.”

Farris said the goal of the event is to “make people aware that by planting trees they are helping water and air quality.”

The event will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the UK. It is free and open to the public.