Cordill-Mason Elementary students celebrated Arbor Day outside on Friday, enjoying the nice weather and engaging in various activities to celebrate the day. Students painted Arbor Day themed pictures before writing poetry about their art, while some of the older students participated in planting new trees on the school grounds, courtesy of Colonial Gardens.

Kacey Johnson, third through fifth grade principal, said the school partnered with the nursery to create an engaging way for students to get a green mindset.

“It’s important to educate the future generation on how to take care of this beautiful Earth we’ve been given,” she said.

The fifth graders gathered around Bryn Tackle from Colonial Gardens, who introduced them to a young swamp white oak tree, a plant native to Missouri. As he prepared the tree for planting, he taught them about the proper way to set up a newly planted tree for success, showing them how to spread its roots and cover them with nutrients before covering it in soil as upright as possible.

While the students weren’t able to get their own hands dirty, they had the opportunity to ask questions as Tackle took them through the process.

“It’s going to be a really nice shade tree when you guys come back to visit,” he told one group of fifth graders. According to Colonial Gardens’ plant catalogue, the average swamp white oak, like the ones planted outside the school, grow to a height of 60 feet, and spread out just as wide. While the tree grows slowly, it can live up to 300 years under ideal conditions. By the end of the day, Cordill-Mason had two new trees.


Tree planting according to Bryn Tackle:

• Make sure you spread the roots in a wide “flare" pattern.

• Plant it at the proper depth.

• Include compost.

• Water immediately.

• Spread mulch after watering.