Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

I hope everyone had the chance to celebrate Earth Day in some small (or big) way!

I'm fortunate to work in the environmental field, following a passion of mine and fostering stewardship ideals in others. Today I worked with a group of high schoolers as we potted approximately 300 native saplings, previously rescued by volunteers from a mow-zone last fall.

The before photo!
Directly after rescuing these saplings from a mow-zone in a Wissahickon meadow last fall, we heeled them in during their dormancy. Heeling plants in involves digging a ditch for the bare roots, covering the roots with wood chips, propping the saplings up with a wooden board, and protecting the plants in a makeshift green house with white tarp placed above the rib in the photo. Amazingly, we only had a handful of casualties over the winter.

We had approximately 20 volunteers working for about an hour and a half to pot these guys, taking care not to cover the root flare, to stand the saplings up straight in the pot, and tamp the soil down correctly. We even experimented with two different types of soil.

The after photo!When these native trees grow large enough to withstand deer browsing, they'll be planted in the Wissahickon Valley Park. This group is made up of tulip poplars, sweet birch, and sweet gum.

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