Bartlett Tree Experts raising awareness of tick habitats

Bartlett Tree Experts has created interactive new signs for private and public landowners to raise awareness of tick and woodland hazards.

The first of the new tick habitat and woodland signs were installed by Bartlett Tree Experts at the Stamford Land Conservation Trust’s (SLCT) Helen Altschul Preserve. The signs are available in all areas that Bartlett operates, as warm weather brings more people outdoors to enjoy the untamed beauty of public and private woodlands. Jim Ingram, President and Chief Operating Officer of Bartlett Tree Experts, said the signs were created for landowners and visitors of woodlands to be aware of the risks of ticks and hazardous trees so they can be better prepared to enjoy these areas.

“We started our support of deer tick research at the University of Rhode Island through a partnership with URI’s Center for Vector-Borne Diseases more than 20 years ago to address the tick-related risks for our arborists,” Ingram said. “We saw the need to help raise awareness of the risks to the public by sharing this information.”

A QR code printed on each sign can be scanned with a smart phone to provide woodland visitors with information about tick and woodland hazard risks. The woodland signs remind visitors to be aware of their surroundings, as these areas can pose risks from falling branches, bark, fruits and limbs, which can fall at any time.

The Tick Habitat signs were created by Bartlett Tree Experts in partnership with TickEncounter at URI to raise awareness of tick hazards and tickborne disease prevention. The concept to assist landowners and visitors with similar signs for woodland areas was initiated by Bartlett Tree Experts late last year.

“We care for a lot of trees and having an ally like Bartlett is important to our mission,” John Stone, SLCT’s Treasurer said. “We want the public to come and enjoy the preserve and we want them to do it safely.”

With 164 acres of woodlands, the Helen Altschul Preserve is the SLCT’s crown jewel and its largest preserve. More than 20 people visit the preserve each day to enjoy its trails for hiking, photography and other non-motorized activities.

The preserve offers a refuge for white-tailed deer and other wildlife, which play a role in the two-year-life cycle of deer ticks. Infected ticks can spread tick-borne diseases to humans, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis.

Being aware of the risks of ticks and woodlands can help educate landowners and visitors so they can take steps to be prepared.

Ben Smith, local manager for Bartlett Tree Experts, said the signs should be posted at eye level near main entrances and exits to wooded paths or trails. “We see this as an important public service,” Smith said.

For more information on Bartlett’s Tick and Woodland signs, contact your local Bartlett Arborist Representative or visit www.bartlett.com

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