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Tree companies spruce up Swasey Parkway on Arbor Day

EXETER — Several tree companies volunteered their time Friday, April 29, sprucing up Swasey Parkway in honor of Arbor Day. 

“It’s a very, very generous offer,” said Dave Short, member of the Swasey Parkway Trustees. “(The volunteers) are going to be working here the whole day and all of the structural problems of the trees will be taken down.”

According to Short, if it weren’t for the volunteer efforts, the town would be looking at a cost of about $40,000 for this type of maintenance work. 

Companies that participated included Cornerstone Tree Care, Curtis Tree Care, Northeast Shade Tree and Piscataqua Landscaping & Tree Service.

Crews took down hazardous branches, pruned, and performed aeration and fertilization to maintain the parkway’s landscape. One of the trees, the birch tree by the gazebo, was strengthened as it is an “iconic” symbol of the parkway, according to Short.

David Bailey, of Piscataqua Landscaping & Tree Service, said his service is a labor of love. Bailey and his team were responsible for aerating the roots of the trees.

“There’s so much foot traffic that the ground and soil gets compacted and the roots can’t take any moisture and nutrients,” said Bailey. “What we do is basically put the (aeration) gun in the ground and blow all the roots, it’ll actually lift the entire area.” 

Aerating the roots of the trees, he said, will loosen the ground and the soil, allowing more nutrients and moisture to go through.

Dave Steadman, owner of Northeast Shade Tree, said his company has offered their services for free to Swasey Parkway since 2009. 

“We stay in contact (with the town) throughout the year,” said Steadman. “We’re definitely happy that everyone (in our company) presses their pause button in the schedules and tries to have a community effort.”

Chris Kemp, of Piscataqua Landscaping & Tree Service, said the event is a win-win for the crews. 

“We have been doing this since 2007 or 2008,” Kemp said. “We want to give back to the community. Give back to the place where we live and work and play.

“There is a lot of community involvement as well. People come by and ask questions and learn about trees and how we work, what we are doing and how we are doing it.”

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