PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peorian’s mission is to “plant trees to meet life’s needs.”
Jacob Bolton, 25, is a forester and entrepreneur. Through his startup, Sylvics Forestry and Nursery, he is selling native trees to homeowners, farmers, landowners and anyone who wants trees planted on their land.
His goal is to sell 300 trees through the end of April, and 1,125 trees by the end of the year.
He said there are many benefits to trees, and they are “great for mental health, raising property value, place for wildlife to be, and reduce the urban island heating effect.”
The trees can also help with environmental problems in Peoria, he said, such as soil erosion and stormwater runoff.
“Currently, the water runs off of all the concrete and hard surfaces like our houses, and it runs off into our drains and quickly is shot down toward the river through really straight narrow tunnels underground, and then that water mixes with raw sewage and pours into the river,” he said.
Bolton said the trees’ roots keep the water in the soil, while the trees’ leaves release it into the atmosphere.
“It creates rain, helps with rainclouds, and cools off the air,” he explained. ” I think that the combined sewer overflow issue is one way we can all focus on planting trees together, because sewage is gross.”
Bolton is selling more than a dozen varieties, ranging from shrubs to trees “up to 80 feet tall.” Some of the species listed on his website for purchase are swamp white oak, grey dogwood, black cherry and elderberry.
The trees cost $17 potted or $12 “bare root” with no pot. Between Earth Day and Arbor Day, April 22-30, the bare root trees are $10.
“By solving these local problems we actually affect these big global issues in a very significant way… We talk too much about environmental problems, and we don’t solve them, and my goal is to raise awareness of how to solve them by providing the resources that are necessary,” he said.