The planting is complete and the volunteer planters have departed.
Tree planting at the new Maple Avenue Nature Park on March 24, 2012.
Brian Conley, standing on a flatbed trailer,calls for attention as the 2012 Street Tree Planting commences.
Approximately 100 trees were delivered to the new Maple Avenue Nature Park on March 23, 2012. They were unloaded onto the parking lot 300 to 600 ft. from where they were to be planted. A large team of workers laboriously moved the trees by hand cart one by one to their prescribed planting locations. A heavy rain turned the freshly deposted layer of top soil into a muddy field that only got worse under the trampling feet of the workers. As Saturday morning planting time rolled around trees were still being toted to their sites.
TREES Inc volunteers, Terre Haute Park Department, and City Government personnel greeted Hundreds of volunteers from Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Saint Mary of the Woods College, and Walmart. After registration, breakfast, and receiving instructions, the large team of planters descended onto the park grounds to begin the daunting task of planting large trees with big heavy root balls in a sea of slippery deep mud.
As always, specific steps had to be follwed to plant each tree. First,it's burlap wrap was pulled away from the top of the root ball and dirt was gently removed down to the root flare. A measurement was made from root flare to the bottom of the root ball to determine how deep to dig the hole. This is a very important step. And, often the holes had roots and or chunks of concrete blocking the way.
Then came the most grueling part, placing the tree and it's heavy root ball into the hole, getting it straight, and back filling the hole. Metal fence stakes were driven into the ground and slings were wrapped around the tree trunk until the developing root system is able to support the tree. The trees were watered and two bags of mulch applied to each tree.
In addition to the large shade trees being planted were approximately 30 lovely flowering dogwood trees. These were planted much quicker as they were considerably smaller and the root flare issue was not critical to the process.
The project was completed by 11:00 am and a quiet calm returned to the park and lake. Residents and future generations will benefit from and enjoy the beauty of these trees. The Terre Haute community can be proud of their new park and the trees planted by all of the anonymous volunteers -- a true team effort.
Volunteers and supervisors gather for tree planting on March 24, 2012.