It is safe to say that Spring is here to stay. Apple trees are blossoming. The purple hue of redbuds can be seen around the city. Plus, the leaves have unfurled on maples, oaks, willows and many other trees. Do you know what that means?
IT IS THE PERFECT TIME TO PLANT A TREE!
Spring is a great time to get out and plant trees. Typically, days are not too hot and there is still plenty of moisture in the ground. This gives new trees a chance to get established before the punishing days of summer are fully under way. In fact, you can plant trees as soon as the frost is out of the ground. That means now!
And this weekend there are not just one, but TWO opportunities to get out and plant trees right here in our community, through ReForest London‘s tree planting initiatives;
Sat, May 25, 1-3:30 pm, Celebration Forest, Western Counties Road
Volunteers are needed to assist families planting trees in celebration or in memory of loved ones in ReForest London’s Celebration Forest, and to plant trees for people who could not attend this event. Additional help is needed prior to the event; if you can assist in set up for the event, please contact Jessica Danard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sun, May 26, 1-4 pm, Murray Marr East, Ecoaction, 707 Exeter Road
We need lots of enthusiastic volunteers to plant 500 native trees and shrubs in this south London natural area. Due to the rough terrain, this is not a good site for children. We recommend volunteers wear long pants and long sleeve shirts to this site. Thank you to Environment Canada for sponsoring this project.
Before you stick your spade in the ground, there are a few things you should know though. The first is to dress appropriately. That means sturdy shoes (think runners, not flip-flops). Depending upon where you are going to be planting, and the weather, wear appropriate clothing as well (long pants, long sleeves, garden gloves and maybe even a slicker in case of rain). The next item in your arsenal should be a shovel, although the folks at ReForest London sometimes have spare ones if you are planting with them. Don’t forget a positive attitude and gentle hands. Tree saplings are delicate things and cannot withstand rough handling.
With that in mind, choose the site for your new seedling carefully. Again, ReForest London volunteers always teach you how to plant trees at the beginning of their tree planting events. Try not to damage roots or the stem of your new tree. Plant seedlings upright and away from rocks, stumps or too close to other trees. No need to have them competing for water and sunlight right off the hop. Make sure that you have an appropriate sized hole to place your seedling into – neither too deep, nor too shallow. Finally, make sure to gently tamp the soil down around the new tree, to remove any potential air pockets from around the tree’s roots. Air pockets can kill a plant.
Now take a sip of your water and give your new tree a slug too. Don’t forget to register the newly planted trees with the Million Tree Challenge when you are through! Londoners have planted almost 98,000 trees so far. CLC Tree Services is one of the Top Planters of 2013 with 71 trees planted. Every tree counts, so make a point to get out and plant a new tree this weekend.