Since summer of 2020, we have planted over 450 tree and shrub seedlings in Hillside Woods, mostly using individual cages and tubes, plus some donated wildflowers (see dataset). For more details on our 2021 planting project, see News.
Once funding is in hand and fencing erected, we will start replanting in earnest! Projects will include seeding the Meadow and tending to the riparian corridor along Scheckler's Brook, the stream that runs into (and out of) Sugar Pond, plus creating a demonstration site along Edgewood Avenue. We continue to remove invasive shrubs and trees, which needs to get done before we fence.
How do you plant a tree? Click here for useful tips.
Learn how we built our tree guards with Pinar O'Flaherty
Planted items: colored by type of tree or plant.
Planting Pilot, Spring 2021
Heeling-in Session May 2nd
We heeled-in these trees and shrubs:
100 black cherry
100 witch hazel
30 black chokeberry
33 red osier dogwood
25 silky dogwood
15 flowering dogwood
25 mountain ash
15 pitch pine
14 nine bark
9 button bush
7 arrowwood viburnum
Thanks to members of the Hastings Pollinator Pathway for contributing 75 of these! And to the Jong/Mon family for their donation of fencing supplies.
Watch how to do it
Taro Ietaka, curator of Westchester County's Mountain Lakes Park, manager of several others and certified arborist consulting on the HWR project, taught a handful of volunteers to heel-in the tree babies. POW volunteer Cat McGrath created this video so that others can learn!
Heeling-in is a method of keeping tree and shrub seedlings alive and well until they can be permanently planted at a later date. NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation's seasonal seedling sale had to be picked up in early May, but we planted in late May so we could include Hastings students.
The nursery worked out great. We selected a shady, convenient spot, and it kept the seedlings quite happy until we were able to plant them.
In May 2021, High School AP Environmental Science students, buddying with 2nd graders, planted 130 seedlings. Teams tubed the trees to protect from deer (which we'll be able to remove once we install deer exclosure fencing) and PE classes water them as needed. Huge thanks to the HHS PE Department, the HHS AP Environmental Science class, and Hillsides' 2nd Grade Team.
HWRP volunteers planted the remaining seedlings from our spring purchase over several work sessions. We got 330 plants in the ground! And have just 25 more to plant.
We selected species available from the DEC that were recommended by our management plan, as DEC seedlings are under $1 per stem and we are still awaiting funding. We have many more species to include, which we'll be able to purchase once we have money.
The plants we installed in spring of 2021 are a small portion of our overall planting goals; for more details, see the Hillside Woods & Park Tree Inventory & Urban Forest Management Plan or quick-check the plan's recommended plants list. We're looking forward to planting the rest!
Tending the stream that feeds Sugar Pond
Headwaters are rich ecosystems that contribute to life downstream. This article from American Rivers is a worthwhile read that details headwater ecosystems. Sugar Pond's upland stream weaves through a dying American beech grove among other ecosystem niches. We are planning to apply for a Trees for Tribs grant in 2023 to reforest this critical area.