RI Global Tree Efforts

Mission Green--Uganda and Tanzania

District Governor Kenneth Mugisha has mobilized Rotary Clubs throughout District 9211 to partner with local and national governments, schools, prisons, and the media to plant 5 million trees a year over the next five years in Uganda and Tanzania.  To read more, click here.

“I want to rise up to President Ian Riseley’s challenge, where he has asked every Rotarian to plant a tree to reduce our carbon footprint.”
— Jennifer Deroin, Rotary District 5400 Governor-Elect

By Kevin Allen

By May, you may have noticed leaves curling or trees dropping sap onto your car or walkway.  This is most likely aphids, which are small insects that feed in mass on tender leaves & stems.  They enjoy a wide variety of plant species including green ash, roses, spirea, & so many more. While aphids will almost never “kill” a tree, they can render it unsightly & their waste (called honeydew) can make quite a mess on your car or patio.  If you wish to control them, please keep these tips in mind:

  • Make the correct diagnosis before treating a tree.  Look for signs & symptoms. Accurately diagnose the cause & determine a sensible course of action.  Seeing aphids or other insects doesn’t mean you need to spray or treat a tree. Instead, determine a “tolerable threshold,” the point at which their presence is significantly harming the tree or adversely your property.

  • If treatment is indeed necessary, consider options that protect beneficial insects & the environment.  There are systemic treatments that when properly applied, can offer up to a year of suppression. If you’re unsure, contact a Certified Arborist or professional tree service.

  • Time your treatment.  For many pests, there’s an optimal window of control.  If you apply a treatment too early or too late, you may have wasted your money while offering no benefit to the tree.

  • Despite some products & professional services claiming “total control,” the reality is that you never really eradicate insects.  Trying to do so is expensive, unnecessary, & potentially dangerous to the tree & living things around the tree. Again, treat only when necessary & set your mind to “tolerable thresholds.”  Sometimes inaction is the right action.

Keep in mind that summer heat naturally suppresses some insects, especially aphids.  However, warm temperatures do give rise to spider mites & other pests. Simply keep monitor your trees & act only when necessary.

When Ian Riseley, Rotary International president challenged Rotarians to plant 1.2 million trees – one per member - Marc Wride, a member of the Rotary Club of Pocatello,  said an enthusiastic yes.
To Riseley the challenge would help our planet, a vision embraced by Wride, too.  But, there was something else that motivated Wride, the precious memory of his father.  “My dad was a  Rotarian, and he planted thousands of trees on our farm that edged the desert west of Aberdeen.  He carried water in five gallon buckets to keep them alive.”
In a communication with Laurie Zuckerman, head of Rotary District 5400’s Tree Initiative, Wride a wildlife biologist and entrepreneur (he owns the Big O Tire Store in Pocatello)  wrote,  “You could say I have a tradition in planting trees.”  
Marc and other Rotarians  also donated $600 to the Sage Brush Steppe Lane Trust to plant 245 seedlings, the first phase of what became a two- phase project.  “This was our first decision, but we decided to do more and that led to Crane Creek.”
The club started working with Idaho Fish and Game, especially employee Jason Beck whose conceptualization and implementation was key to turning the Crane Creek property, a fishing access area  into a tree-lined family picnic park with mulch-covered trails along the fishing stream.  The City of Pocatello has contributed tive benches, and the club plans to install the benches and picnic tables next year.
Many have worked on this project including Rotarian architect  Keeven Shropshire and a local surveyor, Chris Adams, who designed the area and determined the location of each of the trees.  J.C. Wride, Marc’s nephew who owns Wride Landscaping,  contributed time, expertise and machinery to haul mulch and create trails.  Additionally, thirty Pocatello High School students also helped Rotarians plant trees in mid-April.
To date, Rotarians and Fish and Game employees have contributed over $11,000  in service hours on this project, planting trees,  creating trails and installing a drip irrigation system,  the latter at a shared cost between Rotary and F&G of $1,000.  
Current club president Kirsten Nickisch said the project has given members pride in their service and fostered an awareness of the importance of planting trees and keeping our planet healthy. 
Wrote Marc for this article, “We will water the trees using 300 gallon tanks trucked to the site weekly and hooked up to the system until we get the trees established over the next couple of years.”
Then he added one additional piece of information harking back to memories of his father.  “We will still use a few 5 gal buckets to get water to some of these trees.” 
Good job, RC of Pocatello.  Thank you, Marc Wride and Rotarians,  You rose to Ian Riseley’s challenge.

By PDG Terry Gilbert

Kevin Allen, Boise

Kevin Allen was co-owner of Pro Care Landscape Services for over 20 years.  He has been an ISA Certified Arborist for two decades & an ISDA Professional Applicator.  Kevin has served on the Idaho Nursery & Florist Advisory Committee, City of Boise Community Forestry Strategic Management Planning Committee, Idaho State Department of Agriculture Japanese Beetle Project, & many others.  He has been responsible for thousands of trees, from selection to installation to care & maintenance.  He loves returning to trees he planted early in his career to see how big they’ve grown.  His favorite trees are crabapples in the spring, tulip trees in the summer, & sweetgums, sugar maples, & autumn purple ash in the fall.


Robert Pitman

Robert Pitman has worked as a Horticultural Assistant for the Bannock county Extension Office for the last 11 years.  He also has 12 years experience working in retail nurseries and on a tree farm.  Robert also taught Horticulture for 5 years at Eastern Idaho Technical College.


Laurie Zuckerman, Boise

Laurie has an eclectic background. She’s studied civil engineering, ministry, and education; home-schooled and taught in the public schools; built and run a small farm; and organized several offices. She currently works for Idaho Public Television and volunteers for Rotary and Citizens Climate Education

Terry Gilbert, Boise

Terry served as District 5400 Governor in 2010-11, culminating over twenty years of volunteer work and travel for Rotary in Singapore, Barcelona, Chicago, Indianapolis and Montreal. Terry is a long-time public school educator, starting in 1967 teaching English and History in Marsing. He served as the elected president of the Idaho Education Association in 1977-78 followed by various director roles from 1983-2007


Michela Swarthout, Boise Metro

Michela is the ’18-’19 Secretary for Boise Metro Rotary club, the current Public Image Chair for District 5400 and will be teaching interactive workshops on Clubrunner, social media, club collaboration tools and content creation in our upcoming district conferences. Her primary expertise and passion is digital user experience, proper brand messaging and graphic design. In her civilian life, she's a Product Manager and Business Analyst for a suite of software products who offers free graphic design services for nonprofits when time allows, which unfortunately isn’t much lately as she's started a few businesses in 2018

Tree Challenge Brochure - Share With Your Club!
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Give a Lasting Gift

Need a birthday, memorial or other special-occasion gift? Give trees in your friends', co-workers' and family members' names! These funds purchase extra trees for clubs planting on public lands. Each seedling is tax-deductible and costs only $5. So far 284 trees and native shrubs have been donated.