Growing up in Falmouth, Maine, Bob Stanley of Easton, a consulting arborist and owner of the local company, Tree Keepers, learned that trees provide much more than meets the eye. Stanley recalls childhood memories centered around the trees near his home in Maine, which provided him comfort, adventure, and strength as he became a man.
He recalls, “My first memory is of a red maple tree in our yard that provided the first warmth after Maine’s harsh winters. I used to sit under that tree on the first spring day after the snow melted and feel the warmth of the ground. It was such a welcoming feeling.”
As Stanley grew and became a more daring young man, trees became places for adventure and excitement. He remembers climbing a Norway spruce in his yard so that he could get a glimpse of Mt. Washington and the Maine coast. His parents were shocked to find him teetering atop the 80-foot tree, coaxing him down to safer ground.
After breaking his leg during one of his adventures, Stanley recalls having the doctor come to the house to set his leg. While he lay on the family’s couch, he focused on the majestic ash trees that were visible through the living room window to distract him from the pain he was experiencing. The trees’ motion and grandeur calmed him.
But the real reason Bob Stanley loves trees is a simple one. Not unlike the boy in Shel Silverstein’s book, “The Giving Tree,” Stanley found that the trees cared for him as he was growing up and along the way he learned to care for them.
With over 30 years of experience in the care and management of landscape plants, Stanley founded Tree Keepers to help property owners protect natural waterways like the Chesapeake Bay by caring for their trees and landscapes. He serves the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, including the Eastern and Western Shore of Maryland and Virginia. In addition to being a registered consulting Arborist with the American Society of Consulting Arborists, he is also one of 1319 Certified Tree Risk Assessors worldwide, a licensed Maryland Tree Expert, and a Maryland Master Naturalist.
According to Stanley, the reason we need to protect our trees in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is that one acre of trees inland can absorb enough carbon to handle our car exhaust, it can cool the air, and it can filter the water that goes in the Bay. He comments, “Because it takes 20 years for a tree to reach its peak performance in helping the environment, it is important to maintain trees as they grow.”
Tree Keepers assists property owners in keeping their trees looking their natural best by providing restoration, preservation, and management plans. “Just like us, trees need regular check-ups and regular care.” He adds, “Arborcare involves the cultivation of trees and shrubs in the context of the landscape. This means we need to understand how they grow, and how they respond to cultural practices and the environment. We also examine aspects of cultivation such as selection, planting, care, and removal. By regularly evaluating a tree’s health and providing it structural support, pruning and feeding, we can keep a tree in balance. This is particularly important in the first seven years of a tree’s life while the tree is in its most formative stage.”
When trees become sick, Tree Keepers can provide interventions to help the tree’s health. Interventions include monitoring and treatment of the trees’ ecosystem to ensure that it remains healthy, safe and suitable for property owners and community standards. Stanley believes in using environmentally-friendly techniques for handling pests and disease. Tree Keepers is a distributor for Arborjet®, an integrated pest management system providing micro-injectable nutrients, insecticides, and fungicides for trees. The Arborjet system provides and effective and “green” way to deal with such insects as the emerald ash borer, which has devastated ash trees in the region. By directly injecting the insecticide in the tree, instead of broadly spraying the chemicals on the tree, which can hurt the environment, 100 percent of the insecticide goes to the tree’s phloem. In the past when using traditional spraying methods, only 10 percent of the needed treatment gets to the tree’s affected areas. A percentage of these traditional methods leach into watershed.
Tree Keepers also provides critical area buffer management and forest management plans to help property owners improve their property’s role in protecting the Chesapeake Bay. A large portion of the Eastern Shore falls in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, the 1000-foot wide area of land around the Bay and its tidal tributaries. Best landscaping practices with tree and buffers contribute to improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
This past year, Stanley was hired by the Town of Ridgely as the Town Arborist, to advise Ridgely’s Tree Commission in matters involving its trees. The Ridgely Tree Commission, which has been in existence for seven years, plants 12 trees a year and volunteers to keep a watchful eye for the welfare of Ridgely’s trees. Stanley pruned trees identified by the Commission as part of the Town’s early intervention strategies. Stanley is involved with other towns as well. When an 86-year old ash tree and two sycamore trees in Easton had to be taken down early this fall, Stanley explored options for how to make the best use the wood. He took the wood to Ridgely and with the help of town citizens, cut and split the wood into firewood to be given away to residents.
Stanley comments, “Through Tree Keepers, I want to play a role in improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. I want to help property owners make a positive impact on the Bay by caring for their trees and the critical areas.”
As part of his efforts to get information to property owners who wish to make a difference, Tree Keepers is offering a free resource book, “First Stop for the Bay,” published by the Shore Land Stewardship Council (SLSC), an initiative of Adkins Arboretum. The book provides guidance on best landscaping practices for the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area. To receive a free copy of the book or for further information about caring for your trees and buffers, contact Bob Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-770-9477. Further information is also available on his website thetreekeepers.com.
CUTLINE: Pictured is Bob Stanley, owner of Tree Keepers in Easton, MD. As a licensed Maryland Tree Expert, Master Naturalist, registered and certified consulting Arborist with the American Society of Consulting Arborists, and one of 1319 Certified Tree Risk Assessors worldwide, Stanley provides restoration, preservation, and management plans; environmentally-friendly, injectable nutrient and insecticide programs; and Critical Area buffer management plans to help property protect the Chesapeake Bay by caring for their trees and landscape. For further information, visit thetreekeepers.com.
By Amy Blades Steward for Attraction Magazine.