LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Volunteers trimmed trees at Leavenworth National Cemetery today as part of the “Saluting Branches” program to pay tribute to veterans.

Professional arborists donate their time and expertise by caring for trees at veterans cemeteries across the country.

Leavenworth National Cemetery has large, mature trees that need professional care to keep them safe and healthy.

Every year, thousands of volunteers across the nation donate tree care services at the Saluting Branches events.

“It’s important to care for these trees because most of them are large mature trees and as such they pose a potentially higher risk when they start to develop large deadwood or potentially some storm damage,” Alex Mullock, a certified arborist, said. “We do some mitigation work as well to preserve these trees so they can live longer and continue providing value for the cemeteries.”

Lots of Americans pay their respects each year at national and state veterans’ cemeteries.

Saluting Branches brings together arborist experts to improve the beauty and safety of trees located in these hallowed sites.

Mullock says about 100 cemeteries across the nation are receiving tree trimming today. More than 2,500 volunteers donated their time and expertise at last year’s event.

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