Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

GCC Board of Trustees plants apple trees


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Ironwood - Johnny Appleseed made a stop at Gogebic Community College on Tuesday.

The Gogebic Community College Board of Trustees were on campus bright and early to plant seven apple trees inside the circular walkway just east of the Rutger Erickson Academic building and north of the parking lot near the Jacob Solin Center for business education.

Each of the seven trustees - chair, John Lupino, chair, Eric Fitting, Thomas Brown, Robert Burchell, Tim Kolesar, William Malloy and Susan Beals - donated a tree.

"There are four varieties of apple trees so they will be ready at different times," said Beals, who suggested the idea to the board in September. "The idea is to have the students walk down here and be able to grab an apple on their way to class or from class."

The trees can be planted in fall or spring, she said. Planting them now will help them to stabilize before going dormant over the winter and then really starting to develop in the spring, she said.

"It's something for the future," Beals said.

To help ensure the trees survive and thrive Beals said she enlisted some quality support.

Bill Perkis, the GCC forestry instructor, chose the location for the trees as an accessible but also appropriate spot for them to grow, she said.

Jim Vander Spoel, director of the GCC Ski Area Management Program and Mt. Zion Operations, is going to fence the trees to protect them from deer during the most vulnerable early years.

Darrin Kimbler, who teaches the master gardener class for the University of Wisconsin Iron County Extension, said he will bring his students here to teach them pruning using the apple trees, she said.