Planting Trees in your Humboldt County Community

by Natascha Pearson

February 2, 2021

The Redwoods are bound to make you realize, “I love trees!” Loggers have left sites naked with nothing but flammable debris and fires in California, this year, have destroyed thousands of acers. The longing to help out such an old and sacred plant may raise the question, “How do I plant a tree?”

You can plant trees on any property that the property owner has allowed you too. First determine the area you plan to grow and what trees are native there. You can collect seeds from community trees, buy seeds of native plants, or you can clone the trees that you find are thriving in your community. You have the option to plant urban trees, which can provide shading and bring tranquility to your surroundings or forest trees, which often times grow large and must be supported by surrounding shrubs. All trees help the environment because they filter access CO2 and pollution and they cool the air, protect from floods, houses hundreds of animals, insects, and plants. They employee millions and reduces stress and anxiety while providing shade. Trees are an answer to the climate crisis.

Walking into the Redwoods a feeling of divine spirituality, profound being, and an alter in consciousness occurs that may help us feel connected to the whole. Redwoods are resilient. They can withstand being burnt, their stumps will live on after the tree has been cut, and they live up to 2,000 years old and on average 500-1,000 years. When you’re in the redwoods feel free to connect with them; talk to the trees, touch the trees, hold the trees and hug the trees!

Let’s get back to growing some trees.

Seeds from trees vary, Redwood trees come from mature cones that are a greenish yellow color. The cones must be dried and then tumbled to remove the seeds. Like growing any plant from seed, not all the seeds are guaranteed to grow. Till the area you plan to plant and dig a small hole. Plant the seeds at least a foot distance from one another. Water your seed and allow your seedlings to grow. In a few weeks, transfer the sprout to a pot. Once the plant has grown to be approximately two feet you can transfer this little guy to its permanent home.

Sparsholt College Rosie Yeomans photographer Sarah Cuttle: propagating clones.

When cutting clones, cut the branch at an angle, as well as removing any new green growth. Dip the bottom of your clone in a rooting hormone. Leave your cone in a cup of water out in the sun to grow more roots! Plant your clone in a pot or cup with soil and water it. Place it in a humid place to trap all the moisture. When your plant is about two feet tall you can plant it in your desired location.

It’s important to not plant your trees in grassland and peatland areas that are rich in biodiversity and need to be protected. Planting shrubs and smaller trees around your Redwood trees will encourage birds to spread seeds. A list of these plants can be found here northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/gardening-under-the-redwoods/Content?oid=2818112 . Make sure to give the tree trunk some space.

There are a few organizations to check out in the Eureka area, if you are interested in planting a tree.

Eureka Street Trees Program: Plant a tree on a sidewalk ($75) or on a green slip.

Community Fruit Trees: Free fruit trees to residence

Plant a Redwood: Donate money and get a tree planted.  

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