Tree Planting With UC Green

Tree Planting with UC GREEN

Saturday October 15, 2011: 9am-12pm UC Green Tree Planting —3 Hrs Complete by Xiao Yang (Layla)

Me and three other students from green vs grey class volunteered 3 hrs on Saturday October 15, 2011, tree planting at West Philadelphia. Oyin, Tre and I meet up at the Tech Center around 8:15 AM to wait for our professor. The weather was windy and COLD!! We left the Tech Center around 8:30 and head to Chestnut and 45th stress on a white Temple Van.

When we arrived we signed in, got our gloves, made name tags, got our T-shirts and had breakfast (Donuts and Water). After that, we split into teams. I don’t remember how many team there were, but it was somewhere in between 6-8. I and Oyin were in the same team with another girl, Janette, from U Penn. We started talking about our majors and where we were originally from. Turns out, I was the only business major =(. So our team leader was a very nice African American lady in her forties. She bought 2 grand children with her and we learned a lot from her.

We walked 2 blocks from 45th and Chestnut and arrived in 44th and Chestnut where we planted our trees. We walked down there with about 10 people. One of the other leader did a demonstration on how to loosen up the roots of the trees to help the trees survive in the new soil and how deep to dig the hole. After that, we got our tools and gears and then we split into group of 3-4. Janette, Oyin and I were in the same team and we got to plant the second tree in the corner of 44th and Chestnut.

First we spread out the giant sheet on the floor to ensure that we do not have to clean up any mess afterwards. Then we remove the trees from the pot by having one person pulling on the pot and the other on the root of the tree. Once we got that done, we stump on the roots to loosen them up and we also used something called the Garden Fork to hit the roots. In addition, when we reach the hard and big roots, we used a scissor to cut them.

Once we were finish with loosening the roots. We started DIGGING!! Yay!! I got the sharp shovels and started digging. I thought it was going to be fun.. Well, it was fun for the first 10-15 minutes. After that, I just got tired. There were so many rocks in the soil and there were like three layers of different soils. First there was the good black soil, then it was grey, then orange, and then yellow. It gets harder to dig as we get deeper, so I and my team mates decided to take turns digging. After a while, we check the height of the hole. The height of our hole has to be the same height as the pot that was holding the tree. We measured it and it was just right so we put in the tree for testing. We lay the shovels horizontally across the hole to see if it was too tall. Turns out it was so we had to put more soil into the hole to make the hole shorter so that it doesn’t cover the top root of the tree.

It was time to fill the holes back in. Since our soil wasn’t well mixed, we had to mix them! Some of us use shovels, but I just got down on the ground and use my hands. Putting the soil back in the hole was way easier than digging it out. While our team leader holds the tree, we put the soil back. She stumps on the soil to make sure that it holds the tree. Later we make a donut around the tree and then add in the mulch. Finally we watered the tree and put the bamboo sticks on the sides and tie it with string to protect it.

This volunteer work was a great experience for me because not only did I learn how to plant a tree, but I helped green our city and increased public green space. In addition, the trees we planted with UC green can help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and might increase the property value of the stores in front of the trees we planted.

Below is some random videos and pictures I took throughout the day:

Feeding the Poor Birdies at the Tech Center While waiting for our professor =)

============Pictures Taken Throughout the Day================

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