Trees Columbus has almost everything it needs to plant 40 trees Thursday along the Dragonfly Trail on the south side of Linwood Cemetery:
It has all the trees, 20 oaks, 12 flowering cherries and eight flowering styraxes.
It has the site prepared, the soil has been turned and fertilized.
It has the shovels and other equipment.
It even has tree-planting weather, for a change: Trees are best planted in the cold of winter, when they are dormant, so they can establish a root system without expending energy on spring growth.
The nonprofit needs just one more asset to complete the project set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. west of 10 Avenue:
It needs about 40, said Dorothy McDaniel, Trees Columbus’ executive director. Some already have committed – sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from Wynnbrook Christian School. But they won’t be enough.
The trees to be planted are not saplings. They are twice the size the organization usually plants, their roots in 30-gallon buckets, their height eight to 10 feet.
“We definitely need more adult muscle,” McDaniel said.
Volunteers will gather near the gate to the chapel on the cemetery’s east end. Trees Columbus will have shovels and other gear for them to use, but they’re welcome to bring their own, as long as they make sure their tools are well marked so they don’t get mixed up with the rest.
Volunteers probably want to bring their own work gloves, and they should dress appropriately for the weather and the work.
The weather will be a welcome change, compared to previous plantings, McDaniel said. Too often when volunteers should have been shivering, they instead were sweating, stripping to their shirtsleeves and gulping water.
The overall goal of such plantings is to create a sustainable urban canopy Columbus can maintain through droughts and storms.
Previous projects already have come to fruition: Volunteers planted 75 trees in Dinglewood Park south of 13th Street in Midtown, after tornadoes decimated the area a decade ago. Those are thriving, as are trees planted along Veterans Parkway from 13th Street south to Fourth Street.
Betsy Covington of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley said the project is a combination of efforts and funding sources: The city government is paying for the trail’s construction; the nonprofit Friends of the Dragonfly Trail paid for the design; and then Trees Columbus got a grant to beautify it.
The result will be a demonstration of what the city’s network of trails can look like, she said.
Anyone who’d like to volunteer can sign up online at the Trees Columbus website, www.treescolumbus.org/projects. The office number is 706-571-0436.