Rye returns for 38th Arbor Day event

Public, parochial 5th-grade students to learn importance of trees, get free sapling

For the past 37 years, Rodney Rye has been educating Minneota public and parochial fifth grade students on the importance of trees each Arbor Day.
Rye will be involved again this year, his 38th, planting a full Maple or Linden tree in Riverside Park for the students to enjoy watching on Thursday, April 28. He will also talk to the students about his role in trees and the value they provide us each day.
"I've always enjoyed doing this for the kids," said Rye, who owns and operates Rye's Nursery and Tree Removal east of Porter along Highway 68. "I will go down (to Riverside Park) on Wednesday with the spade truck and dig the hole and bring the dirt back to my nursery. Then I will bring the tree down on Thursday and plant it in the hole."
Minneota Parks Supervisor Ardy Sorensen will also plant a smaller autumn blaze maple tree by hand in front of the students.
"(Rodney and I) will tell the kids a little about Arbor Day and the importance of planting trees," said Sorensen. "We will also give each kid a spruce sapling to take home and plant."
Rye went into the tree trimming and removal business in 1953 when he was only 18 years old. He purchased his first tree spade in 1974.
"There were so many people that wanted Maple and Linden trees, so I planted thousands of dollars worth of trees and then I got my nursery license in 1975 and went into the nursery business."
Rye, 86, has been working with trees ever since.
His vast experience and familiarity with trees has been an educational experience for the students of Minneota over the years.

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