On Earth Day, crews harvest trees for re-planting in Milwaukee

FRANKLIN (WITI) -- It took a lot of machinery and manpower as crews spent Earth Day digging up more than 40 trees at the Milwaukee Nursery and Greenhouse.

"We love it because we`re getting to do something to return to the beauty of the community but also to return to nature itself," Milwaukee Nursery and Greenhouse Manager Todd Statzer said.

All of the trees will then be planted by volunteers throughout the week for Arbor Day.

On Monday, April 22nd, it was a race to get all of the trees harvested before they begin to bud.

"Once they start to leaf out, the tree has actively begun to draw nutrients up, so the idea is to dig it when it's hibernating," Statzer said.

Crews use heavy equipment to dig out the trees and place them in burlap baskets.

"Just think of it as three great big shovels they angle down on each side until they reach the bottom," Statzer said.

"Everything is done by hand through the joysticks, and precision comes in at all times,"  Nursery Equipment Operator Andrius Tolmac said.

All of the baskets are then tied up and shipped out to various locations.

Starting Tuesday, crews will spend the rest of the week harvesting an additional 1,900 trees that will be planted by city workers across Milwaukee.

"We`re able to generate our own trees, get the trees we want, and we can actually produce them here cheaper than we can buy them from the outside," Statzer said.