Bringing down branches at military cemeteries

September 19, 2018 12:54 PM

SCHUYLERVILLE – An idea that began in 2015 in Minnetonka, MN has certainly branched out across the country. Saratoga National Cemetery one of 51 VA national and state veterans cemeteries across the country that’s part of the Saluting Branches Day of Service. The Gerald Solomon cemetery is the only one in New York State taking part.

"A lot of the veterans here did a lot for their country so we're here just making sure their final resting place stays nice for them,” said Dennis Flynn, the Environmental Conservation & Forestry Instructor with Washington Saratoga Warren Hamilton Essex BOCES. He’s teaching the CTE students to become arborists. "We're looking at the health of the trees so anything that could die within the next couple of years they're looking at removing. They're looking at making is safer so when they mow the lawns around here.


“Just making it look better looking for aesthetically pleasing for people that come and actually visit the cemetery."

Volunteers are caring for thousands of trees in 36 states and one spot in Mexico. Saluting Branches estimates the industry has donated an estimated $4.5 million in services at veterans’ properties across the U.S.

"When I come through here you see families that come out here for the day and just grieve and spend time with their family members,” said Roman Goddeau, an adult BOCES student and ex-Marine who served in Iraq 2005-‘06. “They'll spend the whole day out here…You don't want branches coming down or possibly causing mishaps."

More than 2,700 green industry professionals are donating a full day’s work to honor America’s military service men and women. It’s the largest volunteer event in the tree care industry. Founded by Rainbow Treecare in Minnetonka, MN, other backers include ACRT, Inc., The Davey Tree Expert Company, STIHL®, SavATree, and Petzl®.


WNYT Staff

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