Firefighters Serve in Many Ways

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What is one thing firemen have a lot of? Water. And when it comes to ensuring that new trees are set up for success, water is the single most important factor.

Photo by Sue Mayne
Suffield firefighters Gregory Gay (l) and Brian Gauthier (r) wield the tools of their trade in the service of the new public trees planted this Spring on Main Street.

This spring I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Cunningham, our new Fire Chief, along with several firefighters who serve the Town. When I heard from other tree wardens that they received watering aid for their public trees from their fire departments, I approached Scott with the idea. As a result, we gained the support of the fine group of people who spend their days and nights at the fire station.

Statistics show that grass roots organizations are good at raising money for planting trees, but often fall short in follow up care. Towns and groups that provide support and aftercare for new trees achieve a 95% success rate while their counterparts that leave trees to manage more or less on their own have a significantly lower (60%) survival rate after the first year.

Thanks to teamwork and a wonderful spirit of cooperation between two town services (the Tree Committee and the Fire Department), our new trees are off to a great start. An additional bonus to the joint venture was learning that one of the firefighters, Gregory Gay, is also a licensed arborist. Greg’s knowledge and ability to conduct soil moisture testing allowed streamlining the use of resources and personnel while also giving top quality care to our trees.

See us grow! Look for more new trees to be planted this fall. If you are interested in donating to the Trees for Suffield Fund, please visit our website on the town page under “Things to Do/Trees for Suffield”. If you would like to make a bigger impact, we’ve added the ability to accept donations through retirement plans. Just reach out to us at

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