MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Skytop Lodge in Barrett Township has thousands of trees on its property, but not all are state champions, nearing 100 years old.
"It was on its last leg, I think, till we got our hands on it," said Ike Olson, owner of Keystone Tree Specialists. "Now, because I cut it back, got a lot of weight off of it, it's going to be there for many, many years to come."
On this Arbor Day, Olson is paying it forward, helping save the gray birch tree at the resort.
"They give us so much. Not to mention the aesthetic factor but the anti-pollution," Olson said. "They sucked up the crappy stuff that's in the air. They give us oxygen, of course, and there are just so many benefits from having trees."
Olson says the best way to find out if your tree is healthy is to look at its top.
"That's where the growth hormones are. You should never, ever top a tree unless you have really no other choice. But that's where the growth hormones are. You can shorten the life 40 percent by taking the top off," Olson said.
If you see green spots all over your tree, Olson says it doesn't mean your trees are dying. It is a sign that you have good air quality.
"It's an organism called a lichen, and people think that's a disease, and it's not," Olson said. " A lichen is a combination of algae and fungi, living in harmony. It does not thrive in dirty air."
Olson says it's important to care for nature and trees every day.
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