Planting Future Forests

Nature Academy

As spring progresses forward, so does the Taking Root campaign. So far, Great Parks has planted just over 34,000 trees! With the generous help of our many volunteers, we are now above the halfway point to our goal of completing 60,000 tree plantings by 2016.

In case you were driving by an area of the park and looked out the window to find hundreds of single, white objects sticking out of the ground, you’re looking at new trees! The saplings are enclosed in a white tube, which is supported by a stake. This method serves two different purposes: protection and preserving moisture. Having the tube surround the tiny tree will prevent herbivorous animals (such as deer, rodents and insects) from snacking on them. Also, the tube promotes growth by creating a small greenhouse effect inside the tube through trapping the necessary moisture and carbon dioxide required for development. Some of the trees are planted by hand, while others are planted mechanically by machine.

tubed tree

There is a wide variety of tree species being planted. Many are species of maples, oaks, buckeyes and redbud. Particular trees are being planted in specific areas around the parks due to different trees’ habitat requirements. For example, silver maples (Acer saccharinum) prefer to be planted in low-laying and moist areas, so some were planted in the Dry Fork Meadow. As you can see, our forests for generations to come are going to be diverse and plentiful!

Of course, Great Parks wouldn’t have such a high number of tree plantings completed without the help of our wonderful volunteers. There have been several tree planting events at numerous parks. Thank you to all of our volunteers for digging in and supporting the Green Umbrella Taking Root campaign and Great Parks’ pledge to a better future.


Emily Roth, Aquatic Resource Technician