Tag Archives: tree

Planting Trees on Arbor Day, 2018


eco clubWe were lucky it was a warm day. Earlier this month, we had several snowfalls in Cedar Rapids, and it seemed the ground would be pretty frosty.

But a tree planting event was scheduled for Arbor Day, today, and as luck would have it, the weather has changed. I know, Iowa, right?

Anyway, the MMU ECO Club coordinated the tree planting events, bringing 17 trees and a DNR expert to campus.

The original plans were to start at 8 a.m., but the club wisely changed that to a 10:30 a.m. start, assuming that the club and volunteers might get the trees into the ground by the planned lunch at 12:30 p.m.

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Zachary Ceresa, president of MMU Eco Club, getting ready for tree planting.

Indeed, the planting went quickly. There were probably 5 or more volunteers per tree, and although tree planting can be work, if you only have to plant one and four other people get turns at the shovel, it’s a fairly quick, fun process.

I’m a tree person. My tiny yard is virtually a forest due to all of the trees my wife and I have planted—I’m not even sure what the current tree census is at casa de Sheller, but it is quite a few.

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Rachael Murtaugh, Mount Mercy director of sustainability. She uses dandelions in all of her decorating.

And I have always enjoyed tree planting. It seems like an intuitively generous act, in a way, in that you’re trying to benefit the future—both your personal future and the future that goes on beyond you. Not all trees last that long, but many might—the group I was part of planted a sturdy 6-foot oak that, I hope, will be around for many years.

The Eco Club is interested because trees create a cascade of positive environmental impacts. I was interested in planting partly because it’s just soothing for the soul.

The day was beautiful and the volunteers plentiful. It was a fun way to mark the spring.

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DNR expert teaches us how to plant trees.

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Time to Spruce up the World?


Spruce

An undisclosed location. Two of three spruces ended up in the woods behind the fence. This one might be somewhere else. If asked, I can honestly say it was a conspiracy that also involved Ben.

Well, there are still 10 trees lurking out there in the world, supposed to be on their way from the Arbor Day Foundation—heaven knows what I’ll do with them when I get them.

In the meantime, the real reason Audrey joined the Foundation again and got her free trees is so she could purchase 50 white spruce trees at a discount for school children in Monticello. One of her classes did an environmental service project with several grades at Sacred Heart School, and each student received a spruce tree to plant.

There were 47 students. Teachers also wanted a tree each, but apparently the Arbor Day Foundation was playing it safe, and the bundle of 50 must have had more than 50, since there were still three trees left over.

It was cool and rainy today, and may snow tonight. We are in a transition from a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving to early winter, with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s. It might flurry tonight.

The trees are dormant, and the instructions are to plant as soon as possible, so I put the three spruce in the ground today. They are also supposed to taste good to deer, so I caged them to give them a chance.

Too much to do and school is about to start for the final end-of-semester frenzy. I have oodles to work on, so it’s a good thing this is not a busy gardening time. But, I always feel better when I’ve dropped some trees in the ground—it’s such a hopeful gesture.

Sleep little spruce, and when spring comes around, wake up and grow. I hope most of the kids in Monticello found a good spot for their spruce twigs, too.

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