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Arborists Spruce Up Arlington Cemetery
November 1998

Many of the 14,000 trees at Arlington National Cemetery are looking a bit spruced up this Veterans Day due to a  volunteer effort by a  group of arborists from across the country.

Almost 600 arborists from 20 states and 80 companies descended on the 612-acre national cemetery Oct. 17 with chain saws, chippers and bucket  trucks and went to work on the trees.

"The event just grew on itself," said Paul Wolfe, president of the National Arborists Association, which sponsored the volunteer effort. "We had guys driving from Maine with their trucks." 

Working throughout the cemetery on a beautiful, sunny day, the volunteers climbed trees up to 80 feet high, fertilized, cabled, pruned and did other preservation and maintenance work on many of the
cemetery's trees.

"Arlington's basically an arboretum with a cemetery," said Wolfe, who estimated the value of the work at $400,000.

The volunteer effort "will enhance the appearance of our trees and landscaping far beyond our own capabilities," said John C. Metzler Jr., superintendent of the cemetery. "This is a great contribution to this  property."

 "We think we made a significant impact so those trees can continue to  provide shade for those who served our country," Wolfe said. "I don't  think there's any place more deserving of tree care than Arlington Cemetery."