Elm Tree planted beside the Farmington River.
Elm Tree planted beside the Farmington River.

For 75 families willing to observe two simple requirements, the Farmington Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will make available one disease-resistant American elm sapling at no cost.  We ask that the saplings be planted in riparian zones within 10 feet of a river or stream, and that each family agrees to take care of the sapling through dry periods with a particular focus on cutting back any surrounding undergrowth so the trees can survive and flourish.  Please call 860-678-7245 to reserve your sapling on a “first come, first served” basis as supplies are limited.

Well-potted saplings from 18” to 24” tall will be available for pickup starting on Saturday, May 17 at the parking area just west of the Rt. 4 bridge in Farmington from 9 a.m. until noon.  Saplings have been supplied by the Elm Research Institute in Keene, NH, for the purpose of shoring up, stabilizing and shading river and stream banks.  Elms grow rapidly and prior to their decimation by Dutch Elm Disease, populated watercourses, such as the entire stretch on the Farmington River from Apricot’s to downtown Unionville.  The Adopt-A-Tree program is an effort to harness the power of geographically dispersed families to plant and care for saplings along local stream banks throughout the chapter’s entire area.   We hope these families will plant a tree in memory of a loved one, to help a stream bank or as a way to help return elm trees to their former glory.  This is the first step in a long journey, and Trout Unlimited is pleased to be able to participate in an historic program.

A riparian zone or riparian area is the immediate area along a river or stream. Riparian zones are significant in ecology, cold-water conservation and environmental management because of their role in soil conservation, their habitat biodiversity, and the influence they have on adjacent ecosystems. These zones are important natural biofilters, protecting aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff and erosion. They supply shelter and food for many aquatic animals and shade that is an important part of stream temperature regulation. When riparian zones are damaged by construction, agriculture, or other non-natural impacts, biological restoration can take place, usually by human intervention in erosion control and revegetation.

The mission of Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect and restore cold water fisheries which include the Farmington, Pequabuck, Scantic, Hockanum and Tankerhoosen Rivers, Salmon Brook, and many smaller streams which support trout and salmon.  Chapter projects include stream structure, bank and flow restoration, habitat creation, river cleanups, the “Trout in the Classroom” program, fishing derbies for children and Project Healing Waters for veterans.


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