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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- September 06, 1999
- Vol. 52
- No. 9
When Drought-Stricken Trees Need a Drink, Farmer Lambert Cissel's Treegator Quenches Their Thirst
"It's better water conservation," says Dottie Marshall, a deputy superintendent with the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., which uses Treegators along George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia. "It gives us an even distribution of water over an extended period of time"—up to 16 hours. In fact, the Treegator seems like such a good idea some park visitors have been stealing them, according to Marshall.
Cissel, who farms 600 acres of soybeans and sod near Lisbon, Md., with his idea more than a decade ago. he prototype was made of white plastic bags and, says Marge, "it looked like every tree had a Band-Aid on it." Those bags weren't strong enough, and Cissel, using Marge's sewing machine, tried more than 100 materials before settling on the current model. This year the family business, run by his son Scott, 33, has sold a record 100,000 at $22 each—mostly to landscape architects and municipalities. Cissel may be one farmer who isn't praying for rain.
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