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Tree Pruning with a Purpose


Fall is a great time to be outside in our landscapes and gardens. We take stock of which plants are looking good and which plants seem to need a little help. It is natural to want to “do” something to help a tree – prune it, fertilize it, polish it – we can’t help wanting to touch it in some way.

Pruning is an oft needed maintenance treatment for good tree health, and to keep your tree and yard safe and looking good, but pruning without a good reason is not good tree care practice. Pruning just because your neighbor is doing it may not be beneficial for the tree, and could result in too much live tree tissue being removed. This can cause the tree to become stressed, and perhaps decline.

In fact, industry tree pruning standards (ANSI A300) say no more than 25 percent of a tree’s foliage should be removed in a single season, and if the tree cannot tolerate a lot of pruning, even less should be removed. When determining how much pruning your tree can tolerate, an arborist may consider if the tree:

• is healthy

• is still growing rapidly or has matured and slowed its growth

• had its roots severed or damaged recently or in the past

• suffers from disease

• is a species tolerant of heavy pruning

“All that said, fall is a good time to prune to meet certain tree growth goals,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association. A good arborist will work with you to set an objective for the pruning job (i.e., what you want accomplished when the work is done). Pruning objectives usually include one or more of the following:

• reduce risk of damage to people or property

• manage tree health and direction of growth

• provide clearance for vehicles or roadways

• improve tree structure

• increase or improve aesthetics

• restore shape

“Once tree pruning objectives are established, the arborist can provide specific details on how your trees could be pruned to get the desired result,” says Andersen.

The pruning process can be overwhelming to those not familiar with shade and ornamental tree pruning. A qualified tree care expert trained in tree and woody plant health care can answer your questions, as well as help you with your tree pruning goals. Make sure to ask for tree pruning to be done according to ANSI A300 standards, the generally accepted industry standards for tree care practices.

Find a professional

A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best trees and shrubs to plant for your existing landscape. Contact the Tree Care Industry Association, a public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture since 1938. It has more than 2,200 member companies who recognize stringent safety and performance standards and who are required to carry liability insurance.

TCIA has the nation’s only Accreditation program that helps consumers find tree care companies that have been inspected and accredited based on: adherence to industry standards for quality and safety; maintenance of trained, professional staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in business practices. An easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the “Locate Your Local TCIA Member Companies” program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search on www.treecaretips.org.


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Casting spinner rigs for walleye and bass

John Huyser with a small mouth bass caught on a crawler and a spinner.

John Huyser with a small mouth bass caught on a crawler and a spinner.

by Jack Payne

Recently we were taking advantage of the quick change in water temperatures on Lake Michigan. Whenever the lake flips over, the walleye move into the connecting waters. For most anglers this means trolling many rods and the use of planner boards.

We found the fish stacked just behind the pier heads and with a good breeze, casting was far more productive. That got me to thinking, which can be dangerous, and I remember many such days where we casted crawler harness rigs for both walleye and bass.

First with the walleye. When the walleye are suspended at a set depth and stacked into tight locations, casting keeps your bait in their face. Second, when trolling you are into the fish quickly and then out of them as fast. A slow drift or using the trolling motor will keep you over the pod of fish.

Jack Baar with a spinner walleye.

Jack Baar with a spinner walleye.

When casting for bass or walleye matching the sinker weight and style of sinker is very important. We use egg sinkers most of the time and we place them onto our main line above a barrel swivel or snap swivel. Then we attach our Ultra Violet Colorado crawler rigs from Stopper Lures. Add on a fat crawler and you are set to go.

Cast out and count down to the depth that the fish appear on your graph. Then a nice steady retrieve keeping the harness rig in the strike zone. You might need to play with your sinker weights. Some days an eighth ounce works best, other days it might take a half ounce weight.

Besides suspended fish coming in from the great lakes, this system will work over rock piles, reefs or even deep holes is your favorite river. An over looked location is any type of wood. Docks, standing timber and fallen trees are great casting locations.

On all of the connecting lakes to Lake Michigan, anglers will find many points to fish. You can spend an entire day just running the points and working each one for a few minutes. Throw in docks that run tight to the drop-off and you will stay busy all day.

Bass anglers should look for the same locations plus a healthy weed bed. Nothing beats a cabbage weed patch that borders a deep point. Work the spinner over the tops of the weeds and alongside of the weeds.

When working the deep side of the weeds or a deep point, cast out and let it sink to the bottom. Then start a nice retrieve that keeps the blade spinning. I know that a lot of bass anglers turn their nose up at the mere thought of live bait, but a crawler harness rig is the fastest way to a limit of bass. With the two hook rigs most of your bass will hit the last hook and be hooked in the jaw. This greatly reduces the chance of a gut hooked fish.

Right now I like the deepest structure when chasing bass. A deep point or a weed bed that drops off into a very deep hole are favorites. Fishing deep or over the tops of the weeds reduces the number of hits from small panfish. You still will get picked at but many times if you increase your retrieval speed the panfish will leave you alone.

The Ultra Violet Rigs from Stopper Lures are more visible than a standard rig in deep water or when faced with dingy water. That being said, it is also much easier to catch a walleye in dark water or dingy water during the day than when fishing clear water. The same applies to bass fishing.

On your favorite bass lakes fish the deep points, the deep weed beds or timber. Walleye anglers concentrate on suspended fish or deep points and any type of concrete or rock ruble. Carry along 2-3 dozen fat crawlers and a handful of Ultra Violet Spinner Rigs and be ready to do battle.

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Rare Bear


By Ranger Steve Mueller


A black bear was reported to have crossed Northland Drive near 15 Mile Road a few years ago. I wondered if it had followed the Rogue River to Cedar Creek, made its way to Little Cedar Creek, and possibly wandered through Ody Brook before getting to 15 Mile Road. A visitor told me he saw a bear track here a few years ago but I personally never saw evidence of the bear. The track was seen about the time bear crossed Northland. Many people may also recall the sow bear that wintered near Ada and emerged from her winter sleep with young.

Michigan’s regeneration of forest and wild land vegetation has made it possible for bears to re-inhabit areas where they lived prior to forest clearing and large human population settlement. Living near bears may present some problems. Generally, we can co-exist, but not always.

One September I was camping at Yellowstone National Park, at the edge of the campground. A ranger drove through the campground with a loudspeaker warning people to put coolers away and to clean camp well after eating because a bear was coming into the campground for easy food. The park service set a live trap to capture the bear for relocation but had not been successful yet.

My tent was set up with one side over me but I folded one side open so I could view the forest. At about 11 p.m. I was lying in the sleeping bag and saw the bear walking directly towards me. I was deciding if I should get out of the bag and into my vehicle but it was too late. The bear walked past my tent ignoring me. I heard it beat a food cooler on the picnic table that the campers next to me had not properly stored. After breaking it, the bear proceeded to bear proof garbage cans where it pounded them and walked on.

I went to sleep until 3 a.m., when I woke to the noise and breath of a bear. It had walked around my tent and was peering in at me. Our noses were inches apart. In the moonlight, I could see its silhouette. I experienced some fear. Bears are powerful and can be unpredictable. If the bear was getting used to people it might be more likely to injure me in some way.

I have encountered bears in the Upper Peninsula and other locations. In each instance the bear has immediately turned and ran in fear. Their escapes were noisy as they ran through brush, making stems push apart and slap back together.

This bear was inches from my head and a startle might cause it strike out with a powerful paw, break my neck or otherwise injure me. Maybe it would take a quick defensive bite before leaving. Fortunately, I did not have any food in my tent.

For a brief moment the bear and I looked each other in the eye. Almost instinctively I quietly said under my breath “hello.” The bear realized it was where it did not want to be. It turned and started trotting into the forest. I said “hello, hello, hello” a little louder with each word as it left. It picked up speed with each hello. My purpose at that point was to make noise that would keep the bear moving away.

The bear was not interested in me and probably feared me. It was looking for easy food. The neighbor campers were endangering the bear by leaving a cooler accessible. If the bear was captured, moved to a new location and later returned to the campground, it would probably be killed. People can learn to live with bears in nature niches but we need to act intelligently in their presence.

If I shouted at the bear when I first saw it nose to nose, it might have been more defensively aggressive and swipe me with a paw or bite me. Instead, a quiet hello alerted it and it departed quickly. It remains a pleasant memorable experience for me instead of tragic for either of us.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433. 616-696-1753.


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Deer seasons in Michigan



It’s that time of year again, when hunters take to the woods for deer hunting season. For the most up to date changes and requirements for deer and other game licenses, see the Michigan DNR’s Hunting and Trapping Digest. It can be downloaded for free at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Deer seasons:

Early Antlerless Firearm: Sept. 20-21

Liberty Hunt: Sept. 20-21

Independence Hunt: Oct. 16-19

Archery: Oct. 1 – Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 1

Regular Firearm: Nov. 15-30


Zone 1: Dec. 5-14

Zone 2: Dec. 5-14

Zone 3: Dec. 5-21

Late Antlerless Firearm: Dec. 22 – Jan. 1


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Is your tree stand safe?



Hunting from a tree stand is a popular way for hunters to enjoy their season, but nearly every year a Michigan hunter is seriously injured or killed falling out of a tree stand. Conservation officers at the Department of Natural Resources remind hunters of the top safety tips when it comes to tree stands.

Before a hunt, know your equipment:

• Read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings before using a tree stand and harness.

• Check the stand, straps and chains before you go out for signs of wear and tear or missing parts.

• Practice at ground level with your tree stand and harness with a friend or family member.

• Learn how to properly use your harness. The DNR recommends a full-body harness.

• Waist belts or upper body-only harnesses can cause serious injuries or death in a fall.

• When scouting for a tree:

• Choose a healthy, straight tree that is the right size to hold you and your stand.

• Check the tree beforehand for insect nests or animal dens.

• Avoid using climbing stands on smooth-barked trees, especially during icy or wet weather.

• Clear debris from the base of the tree to minimize injury from a fall and to ensure a sturdy base if using a ladder stand.

During your hunt:

• Tell a reliable person where you are hunting and when you can be expected to return.

• Wear a full-body harness and make sure it is connected to the tree at all times. If using a ladder stand or climbing sticks, attach the harness before securing the platform to the tree or stepping onto it.

• Climb higher than your stand and always step down onto your platform.

• Wear boots with non-slip soles.

• Never carry equipment when climbing – use a haul line to raise and lower equipment, unloaded firearm or bow. Do not attach the line near the trigger or trigger guard of your firearm.

• Have emergency equipment – a knife, cellphone, flashlight and/or whistle.

“DNR conservation officers responding to tree-stand falls see the same mistakes over and over – not using a harness or a haul line,” said Sgt. Tom Wanless, supervisor of the DNR hunter education program. “Nationally, 82 percent of hunters who fall from a tree stand are wearing a harness, but it’s not connected. And 86 percent of tree-stand falls take place during the climb up or down. Harnesses and haul lines save lives.”

For more information about tree stand safety, go to the Treestand Manufacturers Association website at www.tmastands.com.

For more information about hunting in Michigan, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/hunting.



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Red Hawks improve to 3 and 0 with 46 to 7 win over Belding

The Red Hawks blazed a trail to the endzone against Belding last week, even in the pouring rain. Photo from Kelly Alvesteffer.

The Red Hawks blazed a trail to the endzone against Belding last week, even in the pouring rain. Photo from Kelly Alvesteffer.

The steady rain could not dampen the home opener for the Red Hawk varsity football team last Friday night, September 12, which honored the Cedar Springs Rocket Football and Cheerleading programs.

Collin Alvesteffer, Kaden Myers, and Anthony Topolski led the Cedar Springs Red Hawks by using a solid running game to defeat Belding 46-7.

“We got Belding on their heels and scored on our first two possessions,” Red Hawks Head Coach Gus Kapolka said. “We focused on getting off to a quick start and we were able to keep the pressure on with our no-huddle offense. We’ve been working on it since Day 1. It’s a part of our game that we want to feature, but we hadn’t gotten to yet. We still need to work on it, but the kids came out and executed really well tonight.”

The Red Hawks offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage all night while 346 rushing yards and six touchdowns were recorded in the game stats. Kaden Myers, Anthony Topolski, Zach Wamser and Isaiah MacDonald all reached the end zone for the Red Hawks.

“Our offensive line does a great job,” Kapolka said. “We have four seniors on the offensive line and have some guys that are very hungry. We played with great pad level tonight. Belding has great size, but I felt like our line controlled the line of scrimmage.”

The Red Hawks defense was able to hold back Belding throughout the entire rainy night, only allowing one score by Belding’s Connor Barker. MavRick Cotton was on fire with 14 tackles, and one was for a 4-yard loss.

“We have to continue to improve,” Kapolka said. “We had a couple coverage breakdowns this week and that will be a point of emphasis this week.”

This week the Red Hawks will travel to Forest Hills Northern to take on Grand Rapids Catholic Central at 7:00 p.m. Friday, in the M-Live Grand Rapids Press Game of the Week. Please come out and support your Red Hawks!


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Equestrian team heads to regionals

Senior Bayley Wolfe and her horse Joe, ready for their turn in Western Fitting & Showing.

Senior Bayley Wolfe and her horse Joe, ready for their turn in Western Fitting & Showing.

The Cedar Springs High School Equestrian Team battled with Rockford the past two weekends at the MIHA District 5 Meets. At the first meet, the Red Hawks had a wonderful showing, beating the Rams by 10 points (174-164). The second meet was a dead tie (151-151), and Rockford edged out Cedar Springs by 2 points (155-157) at the third meet. However, scores are cumulative and Cedar Springs won the District trophy by 8 points. The Red Hawks will head to Regional competition in Midland, Sept. 26-28.

Senior Bayley Wolfe had a great meet 1 and 2, winning 7 of her 16 classes and not placing below 4th place in the rest. Seniors Courtney Piatt and Nicole Kaupa also boosted the team’s score with very consistent placings. Speed riders Jesseka Ruiter and Jordan Stevens helped keep the Red Hawks on top, especially at Meet 3.

From L-R: Asst. Coach Kylie Piatt, Jordan Stevens, Head Coach Emily Ream, Jesseka Ruiter, Nicole Kaupa, Katherine Krankall, Courtney Piatt, Logan Amelia, Emilee Pastoor, Asst. Coach Liz Gear, Bayley Wolfe, Ashlee Warlick, Ashley Pohl, Asst. Coach Danni Naffziger, Raine Gregware.  

From L-R: Asst. Coach Kylie Piatt, Jordan Stevens, Head Coach Emily Ream, Jesseka Ruiter, Nicole Kaupa, Katherine Krankall, Courtney Piatt, Logan Amelia, Emilee Pastoor, Asst. Coach Liz Gear, Bayley Wolfe, Ashlee Warlick, Ashley Pohl, Asst. Coach Danni Naffziger, Raine Gregware.  

Coach Emily Ream had this to say about her team: “We had a great Meet 1 and 2, struggled a little bit at Meet 3. The weather at Meet 3 was cold and super muddy, so the team and their horses had to trudge through some nasty muck. I’m very proud of all of our riders! They kept a great attitude all day, trying new classes, as I needed them. One of our freshmen, Emilee Pastoor, was thrown in a totally new discipline and kept a smile on her face the whole time. That’s what it means to take one for the team! We are very excited for Regionals!”

Ream offered special thanks to coaches Danni Naffziger, Liz Gear and Kylie Piatt, and said the team would also like to thank Lisa Taylor for all her generosity toward the team.


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Cedar Springs tennis team adds another win 

Singles Nick Fennessey, the only senior on the Red Hawk Varsity tennis team this year, returns a ball to his Forest Hills Northern opponent.

Singles Nick Fennessey, the only senior on the Red Hawk Varsity tennis team this year, returns a ball to his Forest Hills Northern opponent.

The Cedar Springs varsity boy’s tennis team started the week out on a positive note when they played a home match against Big Rapids on Monday, September 8 and picked up a 7-1 win. Honorable mention goes to #1 singles player Blake Fisk, who made a valiant effort to make the final score 8-0 by going into a lengthy second set, with his Big Rapids opponent, that ended with a 10-point tie-breaker.

On Thursday, September 11, the team traveled to Forest Hills Northern, where the Red Hawks made a terrific effort to match the skills of a talented FHN team consisting of several seniors, but fell in the end with a 0-8 loss. The Cedar Springs boy’s tennis team is young, and of the 12 Red Hawk players, #2 singles Nick Fennessey is the only senior on the team this year. Coach Katie Unsworth gave the boys good advice after the FHN match by telling them to think about how they played against FHN and use what they learned that day to further improve their playing strategies in upcoming matches.

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Be the referee


By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA


Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Tackle Box 

Today we are going to talk about the rules that govern the quarterback, specifically when the quarterback is being rushed and is looking to throw the ball away and avoid the sack.

Under both pro and college rules, they have what’s called the tackle box. When the quarterback gets outside of the original position of the offensive tackles and throws the ball and it reaches the original line of scrimmage, there is never a foul for intentional grounding. However, under high school rules there is no such thing as a tackle box.

If the quarterback is either in pocket or scrambles outside of the pocket and now is trying to throw that ball away to avoid the sack, there always must be a receiver in the vicinity of the pass to avoid an intentional grounding foul.


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Freshman and JV Volleyball hit the court


The JV Volleyball girls traveled to Reeths Puffer for a tournament this past Saturday, where they advanced to the semifinals and finished 3-2 on the day. While they were defeated in the semifinals match against Reeths Puffer, they greatly improved their team play by supporting each other on the court and communicating, elements that had been lacking prior to the tournament.

With the team suffering from injuries, all players stepped up to contribute their best effort. Defensive specialist Kaitlyn Coons led the team in digs with 48, while outside hitter Brooke Morris led the team in kills with 7. Setter Sienna Wight provided 17 set assists and defensive specialists Lindsay Lehman and Cassie Rivard provided solid defense and passes to target throughout each match. Middle hitters Carlee Mouthaan and Holly Scheer led the team in solo blocks with 3 each. Right side hitters Sydnee Jager and Anna Behrenwald stepped in to provide much needed defensive coverage and court awareness.

According to head coach Ashley Fisher, “the girls came together and played as a team, which has been our main goal all season. I am proud of the way they supported each other on the court and the energy they played with throughout each game.”

The next game for the team is an invitational this Saturday, September 20th at Sparta. Their first home game of the season will be Tuesday, September 23rd against Wyoming Park at 5:00pm. Come out and support your Red Hawk Volleyball players!

Freshman volleyball

The season started off with a 5th place finish at the Sparta Invitational where the freshman team lost to Wayland 21-25, 20-25, defeated Kelloggsville 25-9, 25-9 and Fremont 25-17, 25-9 in pool play.  Northview was the opponent in the Gold Bracket quarterfinals and was the winner by scores of 25-13, 25-17 in a close match. The CS freshman team finished 5th out of 12 teams.

The Grand Haven and East Kentwood quads found the Red Hawks coming up short in each of the games against Grand Haven, East Grand Rapids, Grant, East Kentwood, Byron Center and Forest Hills Northern.

The team participated in the Thornapple-Kelloggsville quad and lost to T-K and Byron Center in close matches.  Calvin Christian quad saw the Red Hawks playing Holland West Ottawa, host Calvin Christian and Hamilton. Scores were close and the team is improving each match.

On Saturday, September 6, the team was at the Muskegon Reeths Puffer Tournament. In pool play Grand Haven defeated the Red Hawks 25-14 and 25-16. Zeeland East also defeated the Hawks by scores of 25-19 and 26-24 in very close matches. The Red Hawks were placed in the semifinals of the Silver Bracket and defeated Union by scores of 25-15 and 25-19. Kenowa Hills was the opponent in the finals and ended up winning by close scores of 26-24 and 25-17.

The following week, the Red Hawks traveled to Kenowa Hills and defeated the Knights 25-22 and 25-20.

Scoring leaders include Carly Hyder with 31 aces and 21 kills followed by Emilee Pastoor with 25 aces, 25 assists and 10 kills. Maddie Nichols has served up 17 aces and Rachel Bowers has 17 kills to date.  Other players have contributed with solid defense and serving when called upon.

League action starts on Tuesday September 23, at home against Wyoming, with the action starting at 5:00 for freshman and JV teams followed by the varsity action.


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