A tree planting “program” is another word for a planting project. Planting programs can be large or small. A large program might involve planting two million mangrove trees to prevent soil erosion along a coastline. A small program might involve planting twenty trees in a green community access space. Large or small, all planting programs are important.
As with many other things, proper advance planning makes a planting program more likely to succeed. The logistics required to organize a planting program are often considerably more than most people would expect. Key considerations are the personnel, transportation, and materials (trees to be planted, and equipment used to plant them). Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. For the rest of this blog post, we’ll look at a large planting program.
With a large program, one of the biggest challenges is the scale. While the organizers can often improvise to deal with contingencies during a small project, the size of a larger project make it especially critical to plan in advance. First, a planting site must be identified. For a large project, the planting site is often what initiates the planting program. Someone recognizes that the site needs trees, and everything unfolds from there. The main challenge might be finding a source for the trees.
Sometimes, trees are planted as seeds. Many other times, young trees called seedlings or cuttings are transplanted into a new permanent home. A seedling is a tree that comes from a seed grown in a nursery. A cutting is a small living piece of the stem or branch of another plant, which is cut off the main plant and then grows into another full plant. Regardless of whether a project uses seeds, cuttings, or seedlings, there will probably be a need to move the young plants to their new home. If millions of trees are being grown, this can be quite a task.
Transportation is not just important for moving seedlings or cuttings to the planting site. Many planting sites for large programs are remote, so the tools and equipment used for planting (and the people doing the work) also need to be moved to the site. Most people reading this will immediately think about using trucks, but sometimes it is not possible for trucks to drive to the planting sites. Sometimes the trees, equipment, and people need to be moved with bicycles, animals, all-terrain vehicles, boats, or even airplanes.
A large planting program may take many days or weeks to complete, even with the help of dozens of people. Those people must be fed while they are working. If they are going to stay on site for the entire project, there must be somewhere for them to sleep at night. If the food and lodging cannot be taken care of at the planting site, more transportation is needed to move people back and forth every day.
With a large program, a lot of equipment will be needed. Everybody will need shovels or other tools to plant the trees. Also, for some projects, each tree is watered after it is planted, which means that buckets or water piping might be needed. All of the equipment must be planned in advance so the people planting the trees don’t stand around waiting for tools and equipment until they can start to work.
After all the trees are planted, the planting program is not finished yet. All of the tools and equipment have to be returned to their owners. If they were purchased or made specifically for the planting project, they need to be stored somewhere in case they can be used on another project in the future. The site also needs to be cleaned up to make sure that no garbage was left behind. Sometimes there is a lot of garage from the cartons used to move the young trees to the site. Finally, someone might want to write down information or collect data about the project, to use later when measuring the growth of the trees. This information can be useful for similar projects in the future, to see what conditions are best for maximizing the success of the trees.
Tree Tree has sponsored large planting programs in various countries. To learn more about some of our specific project, visit: www.tentree.ca/pages/projects