With hope for the future
With just one last remaining mature Mulberry tree clinging precariously to the steep north bank of the Merrimack River in Concord, Forest Society staff have long-wished to plant replacements at the Merrimack River Outdoor Education & Conservation Area.
Red Mulberry trees are native to river floodplains and riparian habitats.
On Friday, April 15, a near-perfect afternoon in advance of Arbor Day on April 29, students helped to dig wide holes to place bare-root nursery stock in a mix of soil with cow manure and compost mix.
Each tree was planted carefully to protect tender roots and well-watered.
Trees were each staked to prevent wind damage until the roots begin to grow and anchor saplings to establish wind resistance.
Trees were mulched with bark mulch to conserve and retain moisture.
Finally, the tender (and tasty) young nursery stock were each fenced aggressively with tall wire cages to prevent browsing or damage by deer which are common on the floodplain.
Staff and volunteer Dave Heuss brought water and will need to continue to water the trees for several weeks as they become established on the well-drained sandy soil of the floodplain.
We discussed how the students might be able to return in subsequent seasons and years to visit "their" mulberry trees and how local wildlife will find sweet sustenance annually from the trees as they mature and continue to flower and fruit for years to come.
A total of eight new red mulberry trees were planted over the course of two different days on the floodplain as part of a grant-funded program with generous financial support from Benjamin Couch Trust, in addition to annual support from Northeast Delta Dental and Merrimack County Savings Bank.
- Read about the Forest Society's past partnerships with the Broken Ground School in this Forest Journal article: New Americans, Old River
- The Forest Society is grateful to Benjamin Couch Trust, Northeast Delta Dental, and Merrimack County Savings Bank for their ongoing support of Forest Society stewardship and outreach education activities on the Merrimack River floodplain.
- Looking to plant a tree this spring? Manging Forester Wendy Weisiger has tips for you in this #ForestryFriday blog post.