MDC provides TRIM grant for removal of hazardous oak tree from historic Elmwood Cemetery in Kansas City

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – A TRIM grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently helped the Elmwood Cemetery remove a hazardous oak tree from a difficult location in Kansas City. TRIM stands for Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance. The program provides cost-share grants to help communities pay for removal or pruning of hazardous trees, tree planting, tree inventories, or tree care training for employees.

The large oak’s trunk had split and posed a danger from toppling. It was surrounded by very old grave sites and stood dangerously closed to the busy intersection of 12th Street and Van Brunt Boulevard, said John K. Weilert, vice president of Elmwood Cemetery. Private arborist Molly Gosnell put the cemetery in touch with MDC.

“The tree stood in a corner of the cemetery bordered by a tall concrete wall with electrical wires overhead,” Weilert said. “Our tree removal contractor recommended using a construction crane to lift the tree out in large pieces. The project was very expensive. Elmwood Cemetery is operated entirely by volunteers, and our budget would not have been sufficient to proceed with the removal.”

Wendy Sangster, MDC community conservation planner, helped the cemetery with advice on the old oak and the TRIM grant application. MDC paid 75 percent of the tree removal cost, about $20,000. TRIM grants are administered in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forestry Council with the goal of healthy urban forests. Contact your local MDC office for more information.

Sangster also put the cemetery board in touch with Urban Lumber Co. of Kansas City. The company is milling the tree into usable lumber.

“We thought that would be a fitting legacy for a tree that had been there when Elmwood Cemetery began in 1872,” Weilert said, adding that “none of this would have been possible without the financial assistance provided by the TRIM grant. MDC's participation was prompt and thoroughly professional. We are very grateful for MDC's help.”

For more information on TRIM grants, visit