by Giana, CG Student & Schoolyard Habitat Crew Member

On Wednesday October 16th, Mark and Andy from Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT, volunteered their time to help the School Yard Habitat Crew at Common Ground High School learn to dig up trees. They taught us many steps for safely digging around a tree, cutting its roots, making a root ball, and how to properly tie burlap around the root ball so we are able to store the trees over winter. You’ll see our team digging up trees for the next few weeks, like in the pictures below.

Andy and Mark demonstrating how to tie the burlap

Andy and Mark demonstrating how to tie the burlap

 

Anthony filling up the burlap with extra soil to make a root ball.

Anthony filling up the burlap with extra soil to make a root ball.

We’re digging up the trees to protect them from construction. Without our crew these trees would have been lost. We identified trees that have been planted on the campus for a variety of reasons. For example, some provide food for wildlife, like the crab apples that we’re digging up. Others, like the plum trees we’re digging up, were planted by students. We built a nursery at the base of the CG trail, so when spring comes we are able to replant them.

The nursery the crew made

The nursery the crew made

The hardest part of this process is cutting through the tree roots. In order to be able to do this we had to get specific tools, like the King of Spades shovels that allow us to slice through the roots. Our crew thinks it’s amazing that we are able to store trees through the winter. We’re proud that we are a part of a crew that helps save plants on our campus.

 

Lovell and Giana cutting around a viburnum

Lovell and Giana cutting around a viburnum

Anthony and Anessia lifting the root ball up.

Anthony and Anessia lifting the root ball up.