The temperatures have been cold in recent weeks, but that doesn't mean Forest Park Forever's experienced Land Management staff are hibernating — quite the opposite! Our team works through each season, alongside our partners from the Departments of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, ensuring that Forest Park is in beautiful and safe shape for its 13 million annual visitors.
A few days ago, we stopped by the promenade above Art Hill — one of the most picturesque spots in the entire Park — to see what our colleagues were up to. In the above photos you can see Forest Park Forever Horticulturist Jim Wagner mid-pruning. Here is David Rowan, Horticultural Foreman for Forest Park Forever, providing some background:
This is our process of annual pruning of trees. We do this in the winter, when trees are dormant, to reduce the possibility of infection due to insects or pathogens and also to minimize the stress on trees since they are not actively photosynthesizing. We strive to keep the material we remove to less than 20%. Pruning for us is an ongoing project to give the trees the best structure and shape in their youth. This helps prevent branch failure due to natural causes such as wind, ice and hail damage that can occur to stress the branch junctions to the trunk of the tree.
Just to do these trees on the promenade it took a week of our labor with the assistance of the lift. This is why we are often seen in the winter months looking up at the structure of our numerous trees.
The next time you see one us working out in the Park, stop by and ask what we're up to. We always enjoy talking about what we're doing to improve and take care of Forest Park.
And when you're enjoying a beautiful spring or summer picnic in this spot, we hope you'll remember this winter work. Thanks to all of our supporters and partners who make this essential maintenance possible!