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Lions Lake in Fall

Photo Credit to Wisconsin Lions Camp

Friday marks the observance of Arbor Day, a holiday dedicated to celebrating the beneficial role that trees play in our lives. Of course, this year’s celebration will be different we’ve seen in years past due to the novel coronavirus and extended “Safer to Home” Orders.

Two years ago, we developed tips on planning a tree planting project with a group, but we know that these points may not be especially pertinent to life in 2020 since none of us can predict when it will be considered safe to gather in groups. However, we think it’s important to bear in mind that planting a tree doesn’t necessarily require a group; instead, it may be a memorable outing for families wanting to make a positive impact on the environment.

Since the ground is no longer frozen (that is here in Central Wisconsin,) now is a fantastic time to plant a tree. By planting in the spring, you allow the tree an opportunity to grow all summer long then prepare for the cold winter months. Nonetheless, there are a few challenges that you will likely need to address. With the help of BHG, we’ve compiled a few tips to improve your chances of a successful tree planting:

  1. Safety first! Before even picking up the shovel, please be sure there will be no utility lines down below. Call the Diggers Hotline (811) before planning to dig. The dispatcher will ask you questions about your project and will need to reach out to local public utilities, which can take some time. The best time to call is two to three days before digging your hole.
  2. When you are ready to plant, dig a hole two to three times as wide as the root ball of your tree to allow for sufficient backfill soil.
  3. As you place the root ball within the hole, be sure to handle carefully to keep it all intact.
  4. Once the root ball is in your ideal location, surround it with lightly packed soil. Loose soil will help the roots grow easily.
  5. The biggest obstacle to planting in the spring is that the tree will need to make new roots and new leaves at the same time, which requires a lot of sugar and water. Be sure to give the tree a large drink of water just after planting and every day for weeks after. Adding mulch to the base of the tree will help keep the weeds out and reduce water loss.

If you are a Lion or Lioness, and plan to plant one or more trees in observance of Arbor Day, we invite you to share your numbers with Multiple District’s Environmental Chair, Lion Anita LeCleir at tia1937@yahoo.com.

At Lions Pride, our job is to preserve, protect and provide for Lions Camp and all other WLF projects, but we think those three essential words can also be applied to our responsibility as conscious citizens.

Instead of thinking of Arbor Day as just a one-day celebration, perhaps we can consider it as an opportunity to continually come up with new ways to improve the world around us. Remember that small steps, like planting a tree, can have a positive effect on our environment as well as generations to come.

Thank you for continuing to protect Planet Earth!