Team Discovery decided that they wanted to plant a small Christmas tree farm to supply some St. Albans City School families with trees during the winter holiday season. They conducted on-line research about starting a Christmas tree farm and also decided to take a field trip to visit a well-established tree farm.
The school received funding for trees from the New England Grass Roots Environmental Fund. Trees were purchased and planted at the back end of school property where we thought they would be undisturbed in the Spring of 2014. Unfortunately, the trees were dead by the time students returned in the Fall. It was thought that the seedlings were likely too dry when planted and that the planting area compounded the problem by remaining dry over the summer.
A donation of trees was made to St. Albans City School by a tree farm going out of business. These seedling trees were very healthy when planted in the Spring of 2015 in the same location as previously. Extra seedling trees from this batch were held over in the school garden until it was determined where they would go. Again, by Fall many of the trees planted in the original tree site were dead.
Shifting the Trees to a New Location
It was at this point in time that we considered the possibility that the main planting location was nearby powerlines that cross school property. We wondered if herbicides were being used below the power lines. Indeed they were. That Fall team Discovery removed the few remaining live trees and shifted them to a garden bed outside of their classroom.
Care for the Trees
The task now is to keep the remaining trees in good heatlh. They will need regular weeding and protection from the hordes of kids that walk by the garden bed site where they are now located.