ARBOR DAY: Mary Raber students celebrate trees

COLUMBIA CITY — It only took a couple moments for the grown-ups to learn the second-grade students at Mary Raber Elementary School knew their facts about Arbor Day.Mayor Ryan Daniel began the assembly Friday afternoon by proclaiming it Arbor Day not only in Columbia City but around the world. “Arbor Day was started in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton after he took the suggestion to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture to celebrate tree planting and land preservation both here in America and the world,” said Daniel.Arborist Kasey Krouse, of Davey Resource Group, in Fort Wayne, quizzed the children as to the tallest, widest and oldest trees.“The tallest tree in America is the Giant Sequoia,” said Krouse. “It can grow up to 25 feet high.After telling them the widest tree was the Redwood he chose a student to take one end of a tape measure and walk 25 feet away from him. A collective “wow” could be heard from both the students and the many parents attending the event when they could visually see how wide a Redwood could get.“There is a Redwood in California people can drive a car through,” said Krouse.He told the students the oldest tree in the world is the Bristol Pine Cone Tree, which is more than 4,600 years old.As is tradition, each second-grade student received a tree from the Whitley County Soil & Water District, a wooden pencil from the Columbia City Tree Board and a bumper sticker.Ken Lundquist and Nick Styles represented the CC Tree Board and Nadean Lamle represented the WCSWD.