Planting Trees for the Future
Bassfield High’s JROTC members weren’t scared off by the threat of inclement weather Saturday as they worked to plant seedlings along the Long Leaf Trace.
Beginning at Faler Park in Bassfield some 54 trees were planted. Each tree was given its own stake with a pink ribbon so it would be visible and hopefully less likely to be trampled by Trace visitors.
“Even though it is called the Long Leaf Trace there are not that many Long Leaf Pines growing there,” J.E. Johnson teacher Susan Hoxie explained, “The LLP is a slower growing pine than the Loblolly and the Forestry Commission had not really suggested planting them for years, however, now there has been a shift in how forests are managed and it is now felt that the Long Leaf Pine is a good tree to have.”
“The Long Leaf Pine is a grass tree and has to compete with the grasses around it the first couple of years,” Hoxie states. “Cardboard and mulch are placed around each tree to prevent grasses from smothering it out. The trees also need appropriate space between each for maximum growth. The first three years are critical to the fledgling trees. They will stay in the grass stage that long before they really begin growing up.”
Sgt. Turner of the Bassfield JROTC stated his kids were touching their future. “In five years those planting today will have something to see and be proud of, recall good memories and say to others, ‘I planted that tree.’”
“It is a joint project in that the trees will need volunteers to water them the first couple of years. These trees can be enjoyed for years to come,” states Hoxie, “and everyone will have an opportunity to help keep them alive.
The project was a joint effort that included JDC supervisors who donated the stakes and ribbons, Diane Hutchinson, Karen Sanford, Susan Hoxie and project coordinator Joel Hoxie and Bassfield City Hall. James Fagan donated the trees and use of the planting tools. Ralph Hanegan and Johnny Kerley made sure everything was in compliance with the Long Leaf Trace rules for the trees to be planted in designated spots. Unity in the Community provided donuts, coffee and hot chocolate for the planters.