This October is the time for tree planting. Trees are crucial for the planet’s health, producing oxygen, and storing carbon dioxide – hence their nickname, the lungs of the earth.
Trees are home to numerous birds, squirrels and chipmunks, bees, and other animals that are crucial for a healthy ecosystem.
They live extremely long and we have to protect them at all costs if we want to make our future a little greener.
That’s why the International Tree Foundation (ITF), the world’s oldest charity organization for planting trees, has launched a campaign called Plantober.
Here’s the downlow!
What Is Plantober?
Plantober is an initiative that encourages people to go outside and get closer to nature. It means taking a walk, collecting tree seeds, and learning how to plant trees in upcycled cartons with help from our friends at the ITF.
It is a campaign that everyone can enjoy, both adults and children alike. Plantober cherishes the love for trees and nature, particularly in youngsters who will enjoy the activity of hunting for acorns and other tree seeds.
And in these times when deforestation has started to take its toll, planting new trees can help address the climate crisis. A single tree can absorb up to 48 lbs of carbon dioxide in a year, so imagine what a whole new forest could do! (1)
How To Enroll
You can join the Plantober organization on the ITF’s official website, donate to the foundation itself, or take up the initiative and plant your own tree following their advice.
The ITF is offering free advice on planting trees on their website that you can try out if you want to get involved with Plantober.
In a nutshell, the ITF is encouraging people to hunt for the seeds they want to plant, focusing on natives such as acorns, walnuts, hazelnuts, sweet chestnuts, conkers, beech, etc.
They are the most beneficial for their ecosystem, biodiversity, and wildlife.
All you have to do is take a walk in your local area that abounds in trees and find the seed you want to plant. You don’t have to know what tree it belongs to – it might do you good to be surprised by gardening a bit.
Once you find some seeds, check out the ITF official seed guide to make sure they’re viable and not moldy or filled with holes. You can do a simple test by placing the seed in a glass of water. If it floats, find another one because that’s not likely to sprout.
The next step is to take an old milk carton (or soup, ice cream, juice – anything that’s made of paper) and rinse it thoroughly. Remove the top, make some drainage holes in the bottom, and fill 2/3 of it with seed-starting compost.
Place the seed on it, cover it with growing medium, and water it thoroughly. Cover the carton with a net to protect it from wildlife, irrigate it when needed, and leave it outdoors. It should sprout come spring!
If you decide to get involved in this initiative, you can record your progress and post it on social media with the hashtag #PLANTOBER. But hurry up; October is passing as we speak!
And once your tree sprouts, you can plant it in your garden or take it to your local nursery.
References:1. Mounce Stancil, J. (2015). The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe. U.S. Department of Agriculture.