Marple Tree Commission

January 25, 2016

At Last! A Nursery for MTC!

These volunteers are pleased with their work on MTC’s new nursery. Back row, left to right: Ernie Telgheider, Janis Egan, Marianne Price. Front row: Chase and Colbin Charron. Not pictured are Rick Ray and Bill Brainerd.


Make-shift Nursery REVTrees! Trees! Trees!

How will we store them until they are ready for planting? This is the question that plagued the Marple Tree Commission as Rick Ray ran out of storage space at his home and the makeshift enclosure that MTC was using failed to prevent irrevocable damage by groundhogs to a number of trees during the winter of 2014–15. The Tree Commission needed a proper nursery, one enclosed by deer and rodent fencing.

Heavy-duty wire fencing was installed in a one-foot trench.

Heavy-duty wire fencing was installed in a one-foot trench.

Space for the Nursery

The first job was to find a space for a nursery.

Bill Brainerd, a Township resident and member of the Tree Commission, volunteered the use of his property for a 30’ x 60’ nursery.

Funding Dilemma

Marple Township said it could not permit the Tree Commission to spend money from its budget, in other words, Township funds, for construction of a deer fence on private property.


IMG_1772Nursery Janis Egan refills trench REV

Janis shovels soil back into trench around wire fencing.

Marple Rotary to the Rescue!

The Marple Rotary generously donated $500 for fencing materials and three (3) members of the Tree Commission volunteered to split the remaining cost.

Funding for the project assured, it came down to finding the vendor that had the best price for supplies and to constructing the fence. Rick Ray, Tree Commission chair, spent many hours online and on the telephone researching what was needed and bargaining with vendors. The best price was $1200.00 to enclose an area 30’ x 60’.

The Deer Fence Goes Up!

Rick Ray did the heavy lifting on this project spending the greatest number of hours, 80 at a minimum, and overseeing every phase of the work. After carefully studying a video showing how to construct a deer fence, Rick started the project in August in the middle of a heat wave and drought. Rick’s construction team consisted of Bill Brainerd, Janis Egan and her grandsons Chase and Colbin, Marianne Price, and Ernie Telgheider who together contributed about 55 hours of labor. All are volunteers and members of the Marple Tree Commission with the exception of Ernie who lives in Upper Providence Township.

Rick Ray installs plastic fencing above wire fencing.

Rick Ray installs plastic fencing above wire fencing.

Step One: Rick rented a ditch witch and dug a trench a foot deep around the perimeter of the area to be enclosed. The trench had to be evenly deep necessitating the hand removal of soil in many places.

Step Two: Ernie took on the grueling job of driving the metal sleeves that hold the fence posts into rock-hard ground.   To keep the posts rust-free, caps were tapped into place on fence posts prior to their being lowered into the sleeves.

Step Three: Heavy-duty wire fencing (180’ x 3’) was lowered into the trench and fastened to the poles. Soil removed from the trench when it was dug was shoveled back into the trench. This arrangement of fencing prevents rodents from tunneling under the fence.

Step Four: Braces were installed at each of the four corners.

Step Five: A tension wire going from pole to pole was installed across the top of the poles.

Step Six: Plastic fencing (180’ x 5‘) was installed above the heavy duty wire fencing and attached first to the poles, then to the tension wire, and finally to the heavy duty wire fencing below.

Step Seven: The frames of two gates were assembled and plastic deer fencing attached to them. Heavy-duty wire fencing was then used to reinforce the bottom of each gate.

Janis's grandsons, Colbin and Chase, help Ernie attach plastic fencing to wire fencing.

Janis’s grandsons, Colbin and Chase, help Ernie attach plastic fencing to wire fencing.


Step Eight: White ribbons, which eventually will be removed, were attached to fence to alert deer of its presence.

The job was competed in mid October.

Congratulations to Rick and his team!

A final note: Wood chips will be used to cover the ground inside the fence. They will be held in piles to speed up the process of decay before being spread to a depth of 2’, ready to receive trees.

Rick ponders over directions for assembling the gate, the final job.

Rick ponders over directions for assembling the gate, the final job.

Mission completed!

Mission completed!

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