What began as a local community service project has now evolved into “Saluting Branches,” the first annual nationwide effort of arborists and volunteers to sustain the landscape of our national shrines through tree care.  More than 1,100 arborists from dozens of tree care companies volunteered their time and talent Sept. 23 to remove, trim and plant trees at Veterans’ cemeteries in 20 states. VA and Saluting Branches are committed to beautiful and safe environment for visitors at our national cemeteries.

Rainbow Treecare, a tree care service company in Minnetonka, Minnesota, organized Saluting Branches. After speaking with the VA, Rainbow Treecare learned there are many national cemeteries around the country in need of professional inspection and care of their trees. The work is vital, not only aesthetically, but for the safety of the millions of families and loved ones who visit our national cemeteries each year to pay their respects to our honored dead.

At Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, the Saluting Branches event started with a short ceremony before climbers ascended trees and volunteer ground crews began hauling and disposing of debris. The arborists pruned trees for structural integrity and safety, removed hazardous trees, and conducted various tree healthcare practices. The tree experts even provided training in tree care to the cemetery grounds maintenance staff.  

“The arborists did a fine job creating a safer and more beautiful environment for the families we serve,” said cemetery director Larry Williams.

The staff at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery thanks the dedicated professionals and volunteers of Saluting Branches and looks forward to working together to honor our Veterans in the years to come.

To find out more about this national effort, visit the Saluting Branches Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SalutingBranches


Deb-B KamisatoDeb-B Kamisato is the administrative officer at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.  She has been with VA for just over eight years. 

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Published on Oct. 2, 2015

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One Comment

  1. Peter Wonson October 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    In 1966 I received my commission in the United States Army. Later that year I was declared 4-F after I broke my neck and back. I never really served in the service of our country. My question is how could I ever be part of the VA system ? I am especially aware of the fact that most of my friends saw service in Viet Nam while I was home. Thank you for the time to explain this to me. Sincerely Peter Wonson

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