We Got Our Hands Dirty!

By Marilyn Loser

Twenty-three folks planted 8 trees in four Alamosa Parks and 1 on Main Street during Alamosa’s Arbor Week. We managed to avoid high winds and snow squalls. This year citizens donated 8 trees for four of our small parks.

“One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.“Chinese Proverb

Lucy and Ed Adams donated an ‘Autumn Blaze’ Maple in honor of grandchildren Haylee and Gabriel Husmann in Diamond Park. All four planted the tree with the help of neighbors Allie and Sophia Gonzales. Planted just south of the bench in the playground area, the tree will provide shade and beauty for generations to come. And in the fall, it will display brilliant red foliage.  The wetter the weather in late summer, the redder the fall leaves should be.

A Hackberry and ‘Patmore’ Ash were donated for Jardin Hermosa in honor of the children in the neighborhood. Monica Salazar, who lives across the street from the park and helped with the planting, requested a shade tree that she could sit under to read. As Alamosans know, trees don’t grow as rapidly here as in many other areas, but the ash is a fairly rapid grower. It should provide some shade before Monica graduates from high school.  Joshua Medina lives at the other end of the park and carefully collected several earthworms that he returned to the soil after the trees were planted. Others helping with the planting were Jennifer Sanchez, Adrienne Medina, Eric Duport, Linda Relyea, Chris Medina, Bob Martinez, and Ron and Marilyn Loser.

Jan Oen and Don Thompson donated and planted another ‘Autumn Blaze’ Maple for Zapata Park. The first choice location, near the playground, would have interfered with watering lines, so the tree was planted towards the southwest side of the park.

Friends Park got four new trees east of the playground and grass. Rusty and Tina Johnson donated two ‘New Horizon’ Elms in honor of their daughters Mikyla and Jordyn. Kelli Robinson donated an ‘Autumn Blaze’ Maple and Kathy Rogers donated a Hackberry. In the years to come, these four trees will provide a majestic and diverse row of stately trees. Mikyla, Jordyn, Rusty, Kelli, Belinda Toth, and the Alamosa Department of Parks and Recreation crew planted the trees.

City employees, including Salomon Archuleta and Jeremy DeHerrera, dug the holes and provided shredded bark mulch.  They dug holes at least twice as wide as the two-foot containers that held the trees, and about 18 inches deep.  A major mistake in planting new trees is to plant them in a deep, narrow hole.  Most tree roots grow laterally in the top 18 inches of soil, so they need room to spread out. A two- to four-inch layer of mulch helps hold moisture and keeps weed whackers away from the trunk.

The City planted a ‘Celebration’ Maple at the SE corner of Main and Edison. A stump was recently ground out of the spot.  A heavy duty, plastic grate protects the tree and walkers.  As the tree trunk widens, parts of the grate can be removed, so it won’t damage the tree.

To view photos and learn more about the trees, point your browser to: www.alamosatrees.net.

There will be another opportunity to ‘get your hands dirty’ later this summer when we plant 26 new trees in Cole Park.  The Alamosa Tree Board and Department of Parks and Recreation received a matching grant through the Colorado Tree Coalition.  It will allow us to plant seven deciduous tree species in our most-used park.

“Trees reach the highest heavens and penetrate the deepest secrets of the earth. Trees are the largest living beings on this planet… Trees have a soul and a spirit.” Unknown