You are on page 1of 4

Morgan Barbee Biology 2130 Dr.

Cao Service Learning Project: Planting Trees with Trees Charlotte When volunteering with Trees Charlotte my mother, Tori Bonnell and I all learned about how to plant and take care of trees. We went to Thomasboro Academy and WG Byers to help make the school campuses more beautiful by planting many types of trees and bushes. Both of these campuses were south Charlotte. Each group was then assigned a tree expert that took us over to our designated areas in which we would be planting trees. These tree experts did a demonstration showing us that we need to dig a hole twice as wide as the tree and about a deep as the tub in which the tree was already in. The experts then showed us that we must uncover the root flair. This must be uncovered to help the tree to grow. If the root flair does not get uncovered the root flair will burn up and the tree would have a harder time surviving. Also before the tree was placed into the hole, the sides of the hold was scored. This helps the trees roots to be able to grow out into the surrounding ground. The roots that were already developed in the tree, must be teased because if the circular roots were not teased then the roots would keep growing in a circle. When the roots are growing in circle, this could end up killing the tree. Once the tree has been teased the tree was then placed in the hole. A shovel was then placed laying on the ground, the soil line must be less than 1 inch below ground level. Once the soil on the tree is a little bit before ground level, soil was then placed back in the hole. After a layer of soil was placed in the hole around the tree (no grass should be placed in the hole), the tree was checked to make sure that the tree is standing perpendicular to the ground. The dirt around the tree was then packed down, this allowed the soil to settle but also leaving air and water pockets in the soil for the tree. After one bag of mulch was placed on the tree. The mulch was then pulled away from the tree root flair to help prevent the tree from overheating. After this the tree experts sent everyone in their own direction. My group consisted of my mother (Tammy), Tori B. and Mohammad. Mohammad helped us on the second day we volunteered. Our group then headed over to an opening where we picked a maple tree to plant. We took the twin off of tree to help the tree to spread out. We

started off by measuring the width and height of the tree by using the shovel blade. To measure the depth we stood the shovel up against the tree that is in the container. We marked off where the top of the soil came on the shovel and then measured the hole. We ran into some problems with very rocky soil. We had to move our tree over about six inches because of a huge rock that was not moving. Instead of the tree expert using a pick-axe to try to break up the rock, he just moved us over. This was a easy fix, but one that took us twice as long as the other trees because we spent about 30 minutes trying to remove the rock. Once the hole was deep enough and was semi-rock free, we checked to make sure the hole was wide enough. We then teased the sides of the tree releasing the roots and then preceded to place the tree into the hole and add dirt around the tree. Once the tree was correctly planted we added mulch around the tree and moved on to the next tree or bush. When we started the first day off, Tori, my mother and I all wanted to plant atleast four trees. But at the end of the day that goal was not fulfilled because we ran into some rocks that kept us busy trying to remove them from where we were going to be planting our tree. The second day we volunteered we wanted to plant at least two trees and one bush, which actually did end up happening. Our goal was completed!!! Our other goals as an entire group (the entire Tree Charlotte volunteers) planted all the trees and shrubs, we also completed our goal of beautifying Charlotte. The relevance of this volunteering is that we learned about how plants (trees and shrubs) need to be planted in order to survive. We learned about how the different trees are used for different reasons. For examples that the American holly is home too many types of animals, along with even more animals use this plant as a food source. By volunteering, I got an up close view of plants and how they work because I will be able to watch four trees that I brought home grow. By planting more trees and shrubs we are conserving the habitat in which many animals and insects live in and thrive in. Also we learned about photosynthesis in the beginning of the semester in which we saw firsthand as the trees you could see little buds starting to appear on the trees. By me volunteering with Trees Charlotte, I have noticed that we need to all step back and see what we are doing to habitats in which animals thrive in. With forests being destroyed just because we are building more and more houses, habitats are being destroyed. I believe that we need to start as a community to replace those trees that are being cut down. If we start

replacing the trees that are being cut down or even only cut down what is absolutely need to be taken down, this would help preserve the habitats. The two articles that I read were Are soils in urban ecosystems compacted? A citywide analysis and Psychological Benefits of Greenspace Increase with Biodiversity". These two articles both have to do with planting and urban areas. This follows along with what I was doing. I was planting trees in an urban area to create a more beautiful and more useful habitat for animals to live in. According to the article by Edmondson, Urban soils are often thought to be highly modified and of poor quality. There is a widely held assumption that urban soils are highly compacted (Edmondson,Are soils). I experienced this first hand, the soil that we were digging in was very hard when there were no trees around. This changed when we moved to an area that had some trees around, the ground became not as compacted which made digging holes easier. With the implication of more programs that plant trees we can decrease the infiltration of storm-waters, thereby reducing flooding frequency and severity (Edmondson,Are soils). Urban compaction of soil could be due to the continuous trampling by people or the mowing of the lawns. With more trees and shrubs, this would limit the areas in which people could walk and mow allowing for the soil to become less compacted allowing more water to be absorbed. Also with the addition of more trees, wild life would become more present in the habitat. This would cause a positive increase in the wellbeing of the area visitors and the richness in the diversity of the wild life ( Fuller,Psychological...). The area that we planted the trees was not the best looking area before we planted the trees. After Trees Charlotte volunteers planted trees the area looked much nicer and you could see a difference in the layout of the area. With an area that has more beauty makes people want to sit down and enjoy the beauty instead of passing by. Before the trees I would have never stopped and looked but after planting the trees it became an area that people would stop and look even if it was just for a second. It is important to have trees and shrubs not just for visual appeal but also they do well for the environment and the mental health of the visitors. So to address the problem, more trees should be planted and thanks to Trees Charlotte that has planted over 10,000 trees in Charlotte so far. These trees are helping the environment by causing the soil to be less compacted which helps prevent erosion and help improve the communitys wellbeing. Without the trees our communities could be victim to natural disasters (landslides, floods and etc.) also the community would not have an area that families could gather to watch the wildlife and unwind from a long day with a nice place to relax.

References: Edmondson, J. L., Z. G. Davies, S. A. Mccormack, K. J. Gaston, and J. R. Leake. "Are soils in urban ecosystems compacted? A citywide analysis." Biology Letters 7.5 (2011): 771-774. Print. Fuller, Richard A., Katherine N. Irvine, Patrick Devine-Wright, Philip H. Warren, and Kevin J. Gaston. "Psychological Benefits Of Greenspace Increase With Biodiversity." Biology Letters 3.4 (2007): 390-394. Print.