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  • Writer's pictureMarie Ambusk

Summer Science – kid stuff?

A nice little story ... and 3 questions ...

During 2020, when most kids were struggling with remote and home schooling, I designed a series of TREEage Summer Science sessions with a group of neighborhood kids – wearing my volunteer leader hat. Among many topics covered, from tree biology to forest pest surveillance, we studied a young street tree that died.

We examined the Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), removed it, excavated the root system

and finally replanted a Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) sapling that had been growing in my flower garden.

Two years later, the little tree has grown a few feet and the kids are back to post-COVID schooling and have grown many inches - win-win!

About 15 years ago, the bank and roadside of this new neighborhood were seeded using a plastic mesh seed blanket. Today, while working around the little tree, I was finding the mesh again (notice mesh over my Felco pruner).

… and I started to wonder: 1 - if the plastic grass seeding mesh was to remain past the area dug to plant the little tree in 2020; what’s the chance that it could girdle or damage the tree as it grows in girth? 2 - should we excavate a larger area around the tree to remove more plastic mesh? 3 - seems to me, that the plastic mesh material should be removed after the grass seeds are established … what do y’all think?

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