August and September 2023 Spam from Pam

August and September 2023 Spam from Pam


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Spam From Pam

Great Plains Society of American Foresters Newsletter

August & September 2023

What is Spam from Pam? It is an email update to inform GPSAF Members and Friends about activities, events, meetings, and odds and ends happening in and around Kansas and Nebraska regarding forestry or conservation. If you know of any event coming up, contact Pam at

I will also try to include short news releases to talk about what projects are going on amongst our members and our agencies. If you have an article you want to see published email them to me (Pam)!

Also, for those aspiring photographers, send in your pictures and I will put them in the publication. Share your talent with your fellow foresters. 



Survivor Tree Seedling Program: A Callery pear tree known as the Survivor Tree is adorned with red, white, and blue ribbons and flowers on a fall day.

Callery Pear – New York City

Pam Bergstrom

The Callery Pear 9/11 Survivor Tree in July of 2012. You can see the old and new growth. Picture from            


In October of 2001, a survivor was found amongst the rubble of the World Trade Centers after the events of 9/11. When found, the survivor wasn’t in good shape and not much was released to the media or the public and the survivor was sent to the Bronx for evaluation and treatment. The recovery team didn’t have much hope for the survivor. When the survivor was found, the 8-foot tall Callery Pear had only one live branch left on the whole tree, was severely burned, and was not expected to survive the winter. What was once thought to be a hopeless case, turned out to be one of the 9/11 Memorial’s focal points.

In the 1970s, when planted, the Callery Pear wasn’t considered an invasive species as it is now but was rather an in-demand tree species for the spring flowers that would be produced year after year. Several Callery Pears were planted to beautify the areas around the Twin Towers and this particular Callery Pear was planted around buildings four and five of the World Trade Center Complex. You see, the construction of the World Trade Center and the other buildings around it was very controversial and many people protested the tall skyscrapers being put in the landscape and the size of the buildings made people uneasy. The trees, including the Survivor Tree, were also planted to mend relations with the neighbors and to bring a bit of green space to the concrete jungle.

Today, the Callery Pear, a native to Asia, is considered invasive and a nuisance. There is a cultivar of Callery Pear, the Bradford Pear, that is very aggressive and produces a foul odor in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. It is recommended not to plant the Callery Pear, but that is a topic for another article.

The Surviving Callery Pear was sent to the Bronx to a specific nursery to be temporally planted and start the recovery process, but hope was very low that this survivor would make it past the winter. When the spring of 2002 came around, the Callery Pear had buds on the lone branch and later leafed out. The recovery process was touch and go for several years, but each year the Callery Pear proved itself to be a fighter and continued to grow and heal.

In March of 2010, a storm hit the Bronx and uprooted the Survivor Tree and arborists involved with the rehabilitation were devastated to see the tree on its side, roots in the air.  When they assessed the damage, they were astonished to find that the only damage was two branches broken and were able to replant the tree back into the ground. By late-summer of 2010, the Survivor Tree was re-evaluated and the arborists determined it was time for the Survivor Tree to return home.

In December of 2010, a ceremony was held to welcome the Survivor Tree to the 9/11 Memorial, just a few blocks from its original spot where it was planted 40 years prior. A crowd turned out to watch the planting of the Callery Pear as a focal point of the 9/11 Memorial and other survivors came to get a chance to see hope planted on that hallow piece of land. One survivor of the attack is quoted to say, “It (the Survivor Tree) reminds us all of the capacity of the human spirit to persevere.”

When Hurricane Irene hit New York City in August of 2011, many trees were toppled and were ripped out of the ground. Irene was an intense storm and brought winds and rain that paralyzed the city. The arborists who had rehabilitated the Callery Pear went to the 9/11 Memorial, ready to say good-bye to the Survivor Tree and permanently remove it from the site. When they got there, they were amazed to find the Callery Pear had withstood Hurricane Irene and was standing proud. Once again, the Callery Pear was a Survivor Tree.

Today, at over 30 feet tall, the Callery Pear is part of the 9/11 Memorial and considered the last survivor to be pulled out of the rubble a month after the Twin Towers came down.


Forest Farming Webinar through Penn State.


2022 Fall – Winter Fire Science Webinar Series

If you miss these webinars, you can catch up on the tapings at



2023 Fall GPSAF Meeting/Tours in Northeast Kansas!

If you plan on attending the 2023 Fall GPSAF gathering, please make sure to reserve your room at the Lawrence, Kansas Marriott by October 1, 2023, to get in with the block of rooms deal!


Events Calendar


September 2023:

REMINDER: September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month! All you guys out there, remember to do your yearly medical exam! One in Eight Men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.


September 15 – World Afro Day.

** Reminds me of the late and great Rich Lodes **


September 15 – National D.A.R.E. Day. Who else remembers D.A.R.E. in school?


September 16 – National Batman Day


September 16 – International Eat an Apple/Plant an Apple Tree Day


September 16 – Oktoberfest Begins in Germany


September 18 – National Cheeseburger Day


September 19 – National Talk Like a Pirate Day


September 23 – First Day of Autumn/Fall and Fall Equinox


September 23 – Savanna Institute Open House. Spring Green, Wisconsin.


September 25 – 29 – North Dakota Windbreak Short Course in Bismarck, ND.


September 26 – 28 – Ponca State Park Forestry Training through NFS and NRCS.


September 26 – Lumberjack Day/Johnny Appleseed Day


September 29 – Have a Cup of Coffee with your Coworkers Day


September 29 – 30 – Deer and Turkey Woodland Habitat Convention. Ohiya Casino and Resort outside of Niobrara, Nebraska. Our own Luke Terry will be presenting! See the attached flyer! For more information, contact Cassidy Wessel at


September 30 – University of Missouri CAFNR Showcase at South Farm. Columbia, Missouri.


September 30 – Teach Your Dog a New Trick Day. What Trick(s) Does Your Dog(s) Know? Send a picture of your dog doing a trick! Or just send in a picture of your dog! I’ll post them in the October issue of Spam from Pam.


October 2023:


October 3 – Dakotas SAF Forest Planning Symposium. Rapid City, South Dakota. See attached flyer.  For more information, contact Doak Nickerson at


October 4 – Improve/Re-organize Your Office Day


October 9 – Columbus Day


October 16 – 20 – Big Rivers Forest Fire Management Compact Wildfire Training Academy. Carterville, Illinois.


October 18 – Webinar. Spongy Moth (Formerly Known as Gypsy Moth): Recent Impacts, Spread, and Management of a Non-Native Defoliator.


October 21 – Back to the Future Day.


October 22 – Play Fetch with Your Dog/Make a Dog’s Day


October 25 – 28 – SAF National Convention. Sacramento, California. 


October 26 – Penn State Forest Farming Series: Goldenseal.


October 27 – National American Beer Day


October 30 – November 10 – Southern Blue Ridge Prescribed Fire Training Exchange TREX.


October 31 – Halloween


November 2023:


November 1 – 2 – Great Plains SAF Gathering in northeast Kansas. A block of rooms has been secured at the Marriott in Lawrence, Kansas for the evening of November 1. Click the link to reserve your room by October 1. An agenda will be sent out shortly.


November 4 – National American Bison Day. Don’t pet fluffy cows!


November 5 – American Football Appreciation Day.


November 5 – National Build and Burn a Bonfire Night.


November 5 – Daylight Savings Time Ends.


November 6 – 10 – National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop. Santa Fe, NM.


November 7 – Election Day


November 8 – 9 – Nebraska Project Learning Tree and Project WET Summit in Nebraska. Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center near Wood River, Nebraska.


November 9 – The Chaos Never Ends Day


November 11 – Veterans’ Day


November 13 – December 18 – RX-310 – Introduction to Fire Effects Online Course. University of Idaho.


November 15 – Webinar. Oak Wilt Biology and Management.


November 15 – National Clean out the Fridge and Freezer Day (At Home and Work)


November 17 – National go Hiking Day or Take a Hike Day


November 18 – National Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Day


November 18 – Treat your Daughter(s) like a Princess Day


November 23 – Thanksgiving.


Save the Dates!


December 4 – 8 – The 10th International Fire and Ecology Management Congress. Monterey, California. 


December 6 – 8 – The Perennial Farm Gathering 2023 – Virtual.


April 3 – 4, 2024 – Dakotas SAF and Great Plains SAF Joint Meeting/Conference. Forestry Across the Plains. Pierre, South Dakota.  More Details to Come!




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