….to plant a tree.
In fact, fall is the perfect time to plant a tree. That’s why the Office of the Capitol Commission, the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Environmental Trust joined together with First Lady Sally Ganem to plant a tree on the east lawn of the Nebraska State Capitol the morning of September 27th. Concluding a week long ReTree planting adventure, First Lady Sally Ganem read the Governor’s ReTree Week Proclamation and oversaw the planting of a Shummard Oak on the Capitol grounds. Mrs. Ganem traveled the state during ReTree Week attending numerous tree planting celebrations in Nebraska’s communities encouraging citizens to properly plant 1 million trees by 2017. The two elms and one maple planted the day before and the oak planted on September 27, 2013 on the Capitol grounds will count toward the ambitious goal of planting 1 million trees in Nebraska’s community forests.
Speaking for the Nebraska Environmental Trust, which provided the funds for the Free Trees for Fall Planting Grant coordinated by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum in partnership with the Nebraska Forest Service and Nebraska Community Forestry Council, Marilyn Tabor, Grants Administrator, indicated the NET was “pleased to participate and sponsor the Re-Tree 2013 grant because much of the work the trust does involves natural native habitat restoration. This project enhances the urban and community environment and increases awareness of the importance of habitat.” Then she and NET Executive Director Mark Brohman helped plant the tree.
An important component of ReTree Nebraska’s ambitious goal is to properly plant trees. A properly planted tree has a much better chance of survival and a long life improving our community forests. The day before the official program at the Capitol, Community Forestry and Sustainable Landscapes Program Leader Eric Berg and Sustainable Communities Coordinator Kendall Weyers were on site to demonstrate proper tree planting techniques.
Proper planting begins with the hole. The hole should be no deeper than the root ball and twice as big around as the root ball.
Remove all pots and containers and loosen the root ball, spread circling roots before backfilling. See the planting guide for ball and burlap trees directions.
Plant so the base of the trunk is at the original ground level or slightly higher.
Pack the hole’s original soil around the tree roots for stability, watering helps to achieve good soil root contact. Barely cover the top of the roots with 1 – 2 inches of soil.
Stake and brace the tree to prevent it from falling or blowing over if necessary. Loosely attach the stake to allow some movement, and remove the stake after one year.
An application of 2 – 4 inches of wood chip mulch will help the tree become established. Don’t pile too deeply on the roots and don’t pile against the tree trunk. With care, a properly planted tree will become a valuable asset to our community forest.