Letter: A tribute to Sam Kinder – and a greener Bristol

Posted 6/16/21

On June 3, a true Bristolian was laid to rest at Juniper Hill Cemetery in a simple and pleasant ceremony. Mr. Sam Kinder had the kindness of his Mother and the business savy of his …

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Letter: A tribute to Sam Kinder – and a greener Bristol

Posted

On June 3, a true Bristolian was laid to rest at Juniper Hill Cemetery in a simple and pleasant ceremony. Mr. Sam Kinder had the kindness of his Mother and the business savy of his Father.

Well-liked and rarely confrontational, Sam had always a cheerful optimism in life and that somewhat gravelly and deeper voice always stood out.

In business, Sam had many customers, not just in Bristol but throughout Rhode Island. If ever you rode with him, his cell phone would often ring.  Sam was a life-long professional arborist who took great pride in his work, innately stressed quality, and who had the title of Tree Warden for Bristol over many years.

Sam knew his trees, and if ever he had a question about them, he would immediately refer to his office library mentor — Michael A. Dirr well-known arborist and and author. Samuel Kinder & Bro., Inc., his official family business name, frequently won the bid for the Town’s tree planting program.

As a member of the Bristol Conservation Commission, I had the honor of working with him for many years in getting the most suitable tree planted for customers as we fulfilled the many tree requests received for the Town of Bristol. Obviously Sam had talented support, both in the field and in the office.

Bristol is known for its many trees, particularly its street trees — lindens, elms, maples, zelkovas and many other species. Sam guided the Town as best he could in selecting a diversity of trees to preserve the well-liked Bristol canopy downtown and elsewhere.

Although his business planned out landscaping projects, he focused mostly on tree care, removal, and planting. What helped his business was that he had his own nursery here in Bristol off Poppasquash Road. He meticulously searched in the catalogs for the best young trees saplings, which he then nurtured to the appropriate size.

What Sam Kinder did for the town is hard to measure, but the number of trees over the years, the many, many trees, amounts to the greening of Bristol.

It is no coincidence that Bristol has continued to be a Tree City USA.

So with Sam no longer with us, his presence is with us throughout Bristol — along town streets, on the Town Common, in town parks, and of course around many homes. Thank you, Sam, for making Bristol a better and healthier place to live.

Raymond P. Payson
Bristol

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