Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Redwood Saplings Planted In Park By Laurelhurst Elementary Students

Philip Stielstra, project organizer, shows Laurelhurst students
how to plant a redwood sapling 

A grove of redwood saplings was planted in the northwest corner of the park close to NE 45th Street, which for years had been covered with a thicket of blackberry. 

Laurelhurst School third graders and kindergartners, along with Philip Stielstra, Seattle Tree Ambassador, planted ten redwood trees, which are clones of some of the largest and oldest redwood.

The special planting was part of a larger project called Moving the Giants to Puget Sound, in which over 300 redwood trees have been delivered to 30 Puget Sound communities, as part of the effort to preserve the genetics of champion redwood trees for future generations as well as to expand their range north, according to Stielstra.

Vera, Crew Chief. NE-Magnuson Districts. Seattle Parks and Recreation-North Division, told the Laurelhurst Blog:

The saplings originated from the giant sequoia trees in California.   The benefit of the grove is to reforest with clone redwoods and continue the legacy of the “Giant Redwoods” which are dwindling in number each year.  

Rachel, Seattle Parks and Recreation, added:
Seattle Parks Urban Forestry manager said that we cannot predict how fast the trees will grow, but within 30-40 years they will likely be about 50 feet tall.  They will be 85 feet from homes and the Urban Forestry manager does not believe these particular trees will pose a threat of falling on the nearby homes.

Parks will take steps to ensure that the trees thrive with proper planting and mulching, providing three years of summer water on a weekly basis, and placing fences around the trees, due to their small size and to ensure they are not trampled or mowed over.   
There is no guarantee that any tree will thrive indefinitely, as all trees face threats from insects, disease, drought and unforeseen weather caused by climate change.  Planting large trees and managing invasive vegetation are not mutually exclusive, in fact, the trees will eventually provide shade, which will discourage blackberries.  This area will be periodically mowed to control blackberries as well. 
Planting Day with the help of the Laurelhurst students was documented on the Moving the Giants to Puget Sound  website. which said:

Each tree is an exact genetic duplicate of the giant redwood from which it was taken.  Two of the Laurelhurst saplings came from the Fieldbrook tree, a massive redwood that measured 109 feet around at it base.  Although the tree was felled in 1890, it still produces sprouts.  If the Fieldbrook tree were alive today, it would rival the General Sherman tree as the largest tree on earth.

Go here for more information and here to read about the Laurelhurst elementary school planting.

(photo courtesy of Plant A Grove Of Trees)

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