Friday, November 15, 2019

Bicycle Tree Planting with Friends of Trees

Last Saturday Christine, our friend Sally and I joined up with some other folks from Friends of Trees to plant some trees here in Eugene. One of the super cool things about Friends of Trees is that while they do have a couple of big trucks for tree and equipment hauling, they try to do as much as possible with as few motor vehicles as possible. So, in addition to having volunteers carpool to planting sites, they also have a bike-based crew of volunteers. Naturally, Christine, Sally, and I were part of the bike crew.

I can say that things went off without a hitch and that's literally true. Friends of Trees recently moved their office and in the move they mislaid the hitches to the big platform bike trailers they usually use. Fortunately, Sally had her Burley Travoy and I had my little Allen Yoogo Cargo Trailer so we were able to haul the shovels, buckets and other tools to the various planting sites. Christine carried some tools in her Allant's bike basket and the hard hat in her pannier. The trees and mulch were dropped off ahead of us at the sites by one of the cargo trucks. Next time, the entire operation will be done by bike.

On this particular Saturday all the planting sites were ones requested by various local home owners. Friends of Trees also works with the city planting trees in different public spaces. Home owners also get tree care information and several years of follow up visits by Friends of Trees for pruning and other health checks as the trees grow.

The post pounder is a surprisingly heavy tool that allows even a fairly small person to pound a stake into hard ground. It also is easy to get carried away with the post pounder and catch it on the edge of the stake and have it bounce up and smack the person holding it right on the top of the skull. Hence, the hardhat.

Erik Burke is a certified arborist and the Eugene Director of Friends of Trees. Christine and I first met him when we attended a local tree walk that he was leading. Erik's knowledge of trees is vast and his passion for them is obvious in everything he does.

Christine got to try her hand at the post pounder.

Sally hauled an amazing amount of stuff on her Travoy. The empty tree and mulch buckets weren't heavy, but they were awkward.

In general we had a great time planting trees but it's hungry work. Unfortunately, the bike crew wasn't as speedy as the truck crews and by the time we got to the post-planting potluck most of the food was gone!

Next time, we'll bring snacks.

Keep 'em rolling,


1 comment:

Jeanne à vélo said...

Hi Kent,

Trees and bikes are good companions except when they collide! :-)

I translated this post to French :