Tree Planting Stewardship Work

This past Friday, I went out to help with just one of the many tree planting events going on throughout Philadelphia over the weekend. I had planted trees just once before, when I was very young. I am lucky enough to still see them growing in my backyard at home. That kind of satisfaction is what made me want to plant trees for some of my stewardship work.

Danielle and I went to The Spring Garden at 18th and North Streets to meet with the group planting. As we arrived we were split into teams and given some basic instructions on how to plant the trees. The trees I planted on Friday were much larger than the seedlings I planted before, and required a different type of planting technique. We learned that the hole must be dug deep enough for the roots to be just under the soil, or the tree could not grow properly. The roots also needed enough soil under them so that there would be no air pockets between them. This was not always so easy to do, especially with roots growing out in so many different directions. We learned how to pack the soil in, as well as water the soil so no air pockets would be left.

We went off to four different locations to plant our four trees. Two of the trees were planted near 17th and Wallace Streets, one was at 22nd and Brandywine Streets, and yet another not very far from the art museum. Each tree, although not far from each other, was a different experience. The first tree’s soil was damp, and seemed a little heavy. It was not very difficult to plant, especially since the roots were not very wide. For the second tree, the soil was much wetter, the roots much wider, and many rocks in the soil, making it difficult to plant. For the second two trees, the soil was much dryer and made for easier planting.

Although it was difficult work, the tree planting was very rewarding. I like to be able to go and visit a tree that I know I put into the ground, hopefully for years to come. The man on our team was telling us how difficult it is to get the community involved with keeping the trees alive. They need the residents near the newly planted trees to keep them watered with many gallons each day for the first few weeks. It seems as if many people cannot be bothered by such a simple task that could help the environment of the city so much. However, it is good to know that there still are some people who are willing to put in the effort and help, especially those who take time out to plant these trees. It really is a lasting impression on the city of Philadelphia.

-Sarae Gdovin

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