Day 3 2017 STdT: Trees know no borders

The great thing about trees, tree education and tree research – is that it is global. Trees know no borders. No matter where you go on the planet, except for a few very harsh climates, you will find trees. Even the STIHL Tour des Trees has an international flair. Riders from the U.S. and Canada to as far away as the U.K., gather once a year for this fundraising and community engagement event.

It’s an international affair! Warren Hoselton of Canada, Paul Sellers of the U.S. and Mike Connick of the U.K. participate in a ceremonial tree mulching at Cedarville State Forest.

This is my fourth tour. I journey across the pond from England every couple of years to enjoy the camaraderie and knowledge exchange that occurs during this week-long 500-mile ride. It’s a great bunch of people, and it provides me an opportunity as an arboriculturist, to take advantage of my passion for trees and my passion for cycling.

Participating in the tour over the years has taken me from the Windy City in 2010, north of the border in 2013 for a ride all the way around Lake Ontario in Canada, to the home of Donald Duck in south Florida in 2015. Now, I’m in the home of the other Donald. No matter where the tour takes us, what it takes to grow and maintain healthy trees is constant. That’s what I’ve learned while on the road, chatting with my fellow riders. It’s an opportunity for us to talk about different approaches to our work and for me to take home new ideas to serve my clients in England.

Our ride on Day 3 took us on a tour of the National Mall. We saw the National Monument, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial and many other sites. This year, coming from the capital of England to the capital of America, I had some expectations. Primarily, I was expecting the White House to be bigger than Buckingham Palace, but it doesn’t look that way, does it?

Mike Connick at the White House during the National Mall Tour on Day 3 of the 2017 Tour.

Mike Connick in his homeland, in front of Buckingham Palace.

Our National Mall tour also took us by the world-famous Cherry trees, which brought up a conversation about a tree we spotted in distress.

Was it waterlogged? Was it the victim of borers? We concluded the tree was weakened by waterlogging, but a secondary cause for its suffering was borers. This is what we do and it’s why we support TREE Fund and its efforts to raise money for research on topics that address these very issues.

Tomorrow I’m back at it again with my mates for what we call a “century” ride. That’s a 100-mile ride that will take us into northern Virginia. I, for one, plan to make the most of the next four days with this group and already have plans for a return trip in 2019 for another STIHL Tour des Trees.

Mike Connick is an Arboriculturist from Tadworth, England

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