Elif Ozyurekoglu is a student at Manual High School. She contacted TreesLouisville this year because some of her classmates had begun a discussion about planting and caring for trees on the campus. Manual’s campus (with a very iconic building) is located in Old Louisville, which has some beautiful old trees, but the overall canopy in the neighborhood is still quite low at only 25%.
The students organized a volunteer planting day and accomplished the planting of 42 trees (after plenty of pizza and soft drinks, of course!). We partnered with Matt Spaulding of the Olmsted Parks Team for Healthy Parks, Robert Woodford and Charlotte Jones to provide the instructions for proper tree planting and mulching.
Most of the trees we planted were bare root trees that we had shipped in from J. Frank Schmidt, one of the nation’s largest wholesale growers. Bare root trees are interesting to work with because they can be sizable 2″ diameter trees, upwards of 12 feet tall, but because the roots don’t have soil around them, they are light enough to carry over your shoulder — much easier than a 300lb balled and burlapped tree. Another advantage of these bare root trees is that they tend to be much less expensive than balled and burlapped trees. The caveat is that the root systems need to be kept consistently moist until they get planted in the ground. Therefore, they do require some extra care when moving and they need to be planted as soon as possible once they arrive from the West.
Elif and her friends learned a lot and got some great experience, and are looking forward to taking turns to make sure that the trees get watered over the summer. If you happen to be passing by the campus, you can see the trees around the softball field, in the student/teacher parking lot, and in the front of the school. Great work, students!