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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Planting Trees With Cub Scouts

Every year our Cubs Scout Pack joins up with some local arborist to plant trees for a nearby nature preserve.  So on a brisk Saturday morning in March, my boys, husband and myself headed out to work on this service project.
This year we were actually replacing some trees that had been completely destroyed by voles, a mouse like creature that lives in the ground.  They chew up the root system.  Here you can see the base of the tree where they had helped themselves.  It almost looks like a beaver was gnawing on it.

When we touched the tree we realized it was completely detached from the roots.  You can see the extent of the damage here.  There was nothing left but a stub.
There were hundreds of trees just like this one.  Our job was to replace them all. 
We had to dig the holes.  We all took turns doing this.  The boys enjoyed jumping on the shovel to get it through the cold, hard ground.  The hole needed to be as deep as the ball and twice as wide.

That is my fat leg.  Haha

Hubby had to finish the hole for me... I guess I wasn't doing a very good job.  ;)

Once we got the trees in the ground, the boys packed the dirt around the the hole, and poked around it with rebar to knock all the air pockets out. 

They poured a gallon of water on each tree, and then dumped and packed mulch around them.  We then placed a cage around each tree with some rebar to hold it in place. 
This was one of two hills we planted.
You don't have to be a scout to plant a tree.  For Earth Day this year, go plant one.
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  1. Is there anything they can do to keep the voles from doing it again?

    1. That is a question we had asked as well. They replaced the trees the voles ate with ones that are not as favored by voles. The hope is that they can get the trees to have a stronger root system this time around, giving the trees a better chance. In addition they are trying to attract foxes which is a natural predator to voles. But I am sure they will still loose some of these trees as well.


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