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Saluting Branches
Honoring Veterans by Caring for Final Resting Places

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Saluting Branches: Arborists United for Veteran Remembrance is a volunteer-driven, day of service by tree care professionals throughout the country who provide their expertise at veterans' cemeteries to help keep them safe and inviting places for all those who visit. The campaign started in Minneapolis (first) and now extends from coast to coast as the upgrades performed in past years in North Carolina (second) and Oregon (third) point out.


Minnesota-based Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements, which offers arborist services and products, decided a few years back to organize a day of service to recognize and pay tribute to veterans by caring for trees at a national cemetery. From that experience, a national campaign was born: Saluting Branches.

"It has now grown in such enormous size that we didn't want it just associated with Rainbow," states Lee Fredericks, the company's territory Manager for Illinois and eastern Wisconsin. "So we created Saluting Branches as its own 501(c)(3) with its own board of directors and the sole function of the board is just to network in the industry about this particular event, help us schedule and arrange it and provide some guidance and direction moving forward."

Fredericks serves on a committee with about 11 other industry professionals and is the direct conduit to the site leaders that volunteer their day, helping them to recruit volunteers - over 2,200 are expected - orchestrate the work and dispatch the workers, and communicate with the executive director at each one of the locations.

The event, scheduled for Sept. 19, includes companies that donate equipment to perform the property improvements. When it comes to necessary materials and products however, those are usually provided by the cemetery itself.

"The reason we do that is because every state has different requirements," Fredericks relates. "We find it easiest just to make sure that we are using products that they might have on the shelf versus trying to navigate product-related scenarios regarding labels across state lines."

Leading up to the event, the committee is having monthly meetings to make sure the site leaders have everything they need for the day of service, which keeps expanding.

"Our goal every year is to have 10 percent more cemeteries than we had the previous year but lately we have been growing 30 to 40 percent per year," says Fredericks. "In 2017 there were just shy of 200 cemeteries."

And there is still time for more to come on board for this year. For more information please go to www.salutingbranches.org.

"We have a good saturation of cemeteries but there are others out there that we can assist without taking away from the activities that are occurring on the existing cemeteries," Fredericks sums up.



As seen in LC/DBM magazine, July 2018.






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November 20, 2018, 8:51 pm PST

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