Malus coronaria

WLCT, in partnership with One Tree Planted, celebrated Earth Day at Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area by hosting a community tree planting event. It was a beautiful sunny day, warm enough to put a spring into the step of 25 volunteers and cool enough to be ideal for planting.

The group planted 75 various trees and shrubs, mulched them, and watered them, all within 3 hours! We were fortunate to have many of our regular Tuesday Trail Team volunteers participate and were delighted to see many new faces as well. This project was implemented in the entry field to Dunham’s Brook just beyond the parking lot on the northern edge of the field.  

The planting is intended to create a buffer on the edge of the property that will provide a diversity of shelter and food sources for wildlife. A selection of native trees and shrubs were planted to provide a mixture of heights and density as well as a succession of blooms and fruit. This will provide nectar and food sources for the entire growing season. Fruits, nuts, and berries will also persist well into the winter. Deciduous, evergreen, and semi evergreens were incorporated to again diversify the habitat and ensure year long interest. Many of the plants are also “colonizers” that send out many new shoots from their roots and create dense stands that expand over time while being aggressive enough to outcompete invasive species.

Three tree species were introduced: Quaking Aspen, Crabapple, and Hawthorne. These will create the second tier of the canopy below the mature hardwoods like Oak and Hickory. A few large shrub species like Bayberry and Staghorn Sumac will also help to create this second tier. The smaller shrub species of Beach Plum and Inkberry fill out the third tier which blends right into the existing warm season grasses that have been established in those fields for some time. We will still need to pay plenty of attention to the nearby invasives, but hope these new plantings blended with the old will begin to outcompete the others.

A big thanks to all the volunteers who made the day a success and thanks again to One Tree Planted for partnering with us on such a cool project!

Interested in joining the Tuesday Trail Team? Learn more here.