March 18, 2008
For Immediate Release

Attention all media outlets:
Merrillville, IN –Lake County Indiana’s oldest tree will be receiving some much needed care from a group of local businesses. ISA Certified Arborist and project coordinator, Russell Hodge, put the effort together after noticing the decline of the 400-600 year old Burr Oak tree over recent years.

Hodge coordinated the rescue effort with the help of Erwin Tree Care of Hobart, Nipsco, Centier Bank, Lakeshore Landscaping, the Northwestern Indiana Tree & Landscape Association, Lake County Tree Releaf and Allen’s Landscape of Highland all who agreed to donate either funds, labor or materials to the project. Hodge’s interest in this tree reaches back many years since his father and grandfather both worked on this tree in decades past.

 A fund for community donations has been established at Centier Bank (8310 Broadway 46410) in Merrillville.  “The Historic Oak Preservation Fund” was established to help offset some of the $2000-$3000 worth of services that will be performed for the tree.

The work being done for this tree will be done in two phases.  Phase one will be a pruning day to restore the tree to a safe condition.  The pruning day will be March 27, 2008.   A second day of plant health care services will be scheduled later in April. (Second release to follow for that date).  Your coverage of this event will be much appreciated.  Coffee and donuts will be available and accommodations will be made for video, picture and interviews with key personnel.

Site Location: 2800 W. 57th Ave. Merrillville, IN
Event Date: March 27, 2008 (Rainout date April 2, 2008)
Event Time: 8:30 am - 1:00 pm


Contact Information:


Russell HodgeProject Coordinator
ISA Certified Arborist - #IN-1486A
Hodge Tree Care

(219) 406-0431  Mobile
(219) 942-2213  Office



Noel Zemaitis – Property Owner

Centier Bank
Betsy Calvert – Operations Manager
(219) 769-4231 xt 314


Nick Meyer
Communications Manager
NIPSCO Communications & Public Affairs

Phone: 219.647.6556
Fax: 219.647.6380
Cell: 219.313.0000



Tom Allen
Allen’s Landscape Center
Highland, IN

(219) 924-3938


Rob Szrom
Lakeshore Landscaping Inc.
Valparaiso, IN

(219) 462-9555





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