It was 45 degrees Thursday morning, and the clouds hanging in the overcast sky were spitting rain in midtown Columbus.
“It’s a perfect day to plant trees,” said Dorothy McDaniel, executive director of Trees Columbus Inc.
About three dozen volunteers worked along Linwood Boulevard next to the historic cemetery planting 42 trees between the road and the Dragonfly Trail. They started about 10 a.m. and were finished before lunch.
The weather, while chilly and miserable, was fitting to put the 20 Red oaks and a mix of flowering cherry and styrax trees into the ground.
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“Right now, the trees are dormant,” McDaniel said. “When they are dormant, you can put them in the ground and the roots have a chance to get established before they leaf out in the spring, then it starts to get hot.”
The trees came from Diversified Trees in Pine Mountain. The total cost of the project, which was financed by Trees Columbus, is about $15,000, McDaniel said.
In recent months, the trail has been built alongside Linwood Cemetery. The construction left about 4 feet of space between the boulevard and path. This is were the trees were planted for about two-tenths of a mile.
One of the drivers in the cost was Trees Columbus brought in soil amendment to get the dirt that was left from the construction project where it was conducive for the trees survival.
It was not lost on some of the volunteers that the row of trees was being planted near where Trees Columbus founder Kyle Spencer is buried. Spencer, who died in July 2015, was an environmental philanthropist who was critical to the formation of the non-profit organization in 2000.
“He was probably up on that bank watching us work,” said retire Columbus attorney Milton Jones, another person involved in the formation of Trees Columbus.
Spencer’s birthday would have been Dec. 12.
“That is one of the reasons we were pushing to get this done,” McDaniel said. “We would like to have a dedication around that time.”