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“Harold, we have got to do something about this life”, said Maude, gesturing to a dying, soon-to-be-liberated tree outside of a mall. The progressive and vivacious title character of the 1971 comedy Harold and Maude was onto something. 50 years later, horticulture thrives in urban and rural areas alike by those who share a love of nature and the environment and volunteer their time to plant trees in their communities through various urban renewal and parks projects. Take it from certified horticulturist and urban tree steward Carol Mullins of Indianapolis, who has dedicated herself to planting trees with Blue Sky Partnerships throughout her hometown of Indianapolis. To celebrate Earth Day, Carol has put together this Plant a Tree Guide so you can have what you need to do your part and let a tree take root right in your own yard.... more
So you want to plant a tree? To pick the "right tree” talk with your local forestry experts at the Department of Natural Resources or a trusted nursery specialist like Woody Warehouse in Indiana. Their trees are grown local, with dense, fibrous root systems that offer the best chance for quick establishment and healthier growth. Native plants are more resistant to diseases and insect attack, and usually require less maintenance, which saves time and money. By only growing native hardwood trees, they ensure you of the greatest potential for success in your planting efforts. By planting native species, you will also help preserve America’s outstanding natural heritage.
The durability and light weight ash handle makes all the difference in this shovel. The pointed end is so good for cutting through sod, tough roots or clay soil. Make sure if you take this to the next community tree planting you engrave your name on the handle, or someone may take home their new favorite shovel.
I found these this spring while looking through garden websites and they are now one of my favorites. These Garret Wades are great for tougher projects and eliminating blisters when carrying water buckets, digging holes, shoveling mulch, or working with balled and burlap wire cages. The reinforced palm wraps around the hand and they feature a double reinforced work finger, because it’s always the first to wear through on other gloves. I like the bright orange so you can always spot were you set them down. These are also great when working with shrubs that have thorns or stickers.
When selecting the tree, look above for power lines, keep it away from your home, and make sure it won’t block a gorgeous view or oncoming traffic. More importantly, before that shovel hits the ground, call 811. Nothing spoils a tree planting quicker than a cut utility line. 811 will come out for free, mark utilities with paint or flags so that you don't unintentionally dig into an underground utility line and get zapped.
Keep that newly planted tree stable for the first year with these wonderful supports that protect the fragile trunk and help the young tree until it establishes a good root system. Adjustable and durable, the Tree-Mate-O provides protective, flexible support, allowing a newly planted tree to gently sway while improving the form, taper, and root strength of the tree.
I used my first pair of Felcos years ago and they quickly became my favorites. The quality was immediately evident. These come in handy to take off any broken or competing branches while the tree is still young. A little preventative pruning goes a long way. Felco says it best, “The exemplary design makes them flexible for all types of pruning by professional and amateur users alike. While quality materials and precision manufacturing provide unparalleled strength and comfort that creates an appreciation that lasts a lifetime.”
For small branches and easy cuts, you can’t beat the Stihl folding saw. The quality is evident when you pick it up. Use it to cut through girdling roots before planting that tree. Then use it for all your gardening needs, from cutting large limbs on your shrubs to broken branches after a storm.
The Firehose pants from Duluth are comfortable, durable, and have so many pockets with snaps and zippers to stash your phone, keys, and more while you work. Ever-worthy of being worn on the legs of strong-willed women. They also feature FendOff Finish® fabric treatment to repel stains.
I got these for Christmas this year and they have quickly become my favorite for walking on those muddy Indiana Trails. Not only are they comfortable, but the water proof quality means I can walk through those muddy puddles and not worry about wet feet.
There are so many new versions of this old classic, but I’m sticking with the time honored standard. The 6 Cubic bucket design has a new twist—steel handles for easy maneuverability, tipping, and use. A wheelbarrow hauls all your tools to and from the worksite. Use it for mulch, but please remember…no volcano mulching! It’s my biggest pet peeve. For some of the best advice for planting, caring and loving trees, visit the Arbor Day Foundation Website.
Now that you've got your tree planted, grab a blanket and head out to sit in the shade of your favorite tree. Bring along “The Hidden Life of Trees” and learn about the interconnectedness of nature. Wohleben discusses life, death, regeneration, and unseen processes happening in nature we are unaware of. I love this book because it parallels trees and the communities we live. We can’t be islands.
Every child should have this book. It's final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference. Side note: When you spell Carol backwards...it’s Lorac. And I do speak for the trees.