When I interviewed arborist Rochelle Smith for an article in the Island Dispatch about the November 10 tree planting, she told me that each person should plant fifteen trees in a lifetime, just to replace the oxygen used by breathing.
A tree that is planted is also a visible reminder of something that a person has done to help make the world a better place. Trees offer shade on a hot, sunny day. In the spring, a flowering tree provides beautiful blossoms. In the fall, a fruit tree provides something delicious and nutritious for humans, birds, and animals.
People write poems about trees.
And, yes, I’ll even hug a tree!!
On May 10th, I got the chance to enjoy my second tree-planting experience. This time, we planted 17 trees on the Grand Island right-of-way. Once again, the tree planting experience was part of Re-tree WNY, the organization formed in November 2006 to replace the trees that were lost during the “October Surprise” snowstorm.
I had three partners for my tree-planting experience: Nicole Gerber, her niece Caitlin Conlon, and Town Supervisor Peter McMahon. We planted two trees: a crab apple tree and a pear tree. In addition to planting the trees, we also attached special plastic bags to the sites of all new trees planting since November. These bags get filled with water, which seeps into the ground through small holes at the bottom. That ensures that, through the summer, all of the young trees get a good drink and are able to grow strong, healthy roots. It is this extra attention that will ensure that the trees will survive to grow into tall, strong shade trees.
In the picture above, you’ll see one picture with Rochelle Smith instructing the group in how to plant a tree via the “bare root” method. Another picture is of Caitlin and the supervisor planting a tree. A third is of Nicole and Caitlin working on the same tree. The fourth is of Caitlin and me placing the watering bag around the new tree. The last picture is of Caitlin and a flowering crab apple tree, which she, Nicole, and I planted in November.
Three of these pictures were also published in the May 16 issue of the Island Dispatch.