What happens at a typical tree-planting party?

By Virginia Njagi, Technological University Dublin Masters’ Degree Programme in Sustainable Development and Environmental Intern to Easy Treesie 2021-2022

Case Study; Ardscoil Ris (An Edmund Rice School), Dublin

On the 25th of April 2022, a team of three tree planters, that is the lead of Easy Treesie, Orla Farrell, Steven – very knowledgeable on trees and biodiversity and Virginia Njagi – myself, the Master’s student, an Easy Treesie Environmental Intern from TUD, embarked on a tree planting adventure. 

It was the last official tree planting session for this season. At the same time,  it was the first chance we got to plant trees with school ‘children’ . I put “children”  in quotes because the boys that were volunteering were not only High-Schoolers, but also very well versed in general affairs. They in fact were  knowledgeable enough to be awarded a prize in Brussels, Belgium at the EU parliament where they were sending a delegation next day. The prize was awarded for a project  they did linked to aspects of immigration, for which they got first prize. 

Our planting party started at about 10:00 am, the tree planting team arrived bearing all equipment that is, the bare root saplings, spades, gardening gloves, a watering can, a metallic bucket, a few “Crann – Trees for Ireland” magazines and calendars for the school pupils and staff to have a look at afterwards. There were also a few rewards in the form of chocolate, to be handed out to our hard-working volunteers, the High-Schoolers, at the end of their planting session. 

The goal was to plant 300 trees by the end of the session, which was about 2 hours in total of work for the volunteers, all from Vincent’s class. Vincent is not only a teacher at the school, he is also well-versed in horticulture and therefore, was a good addition to the team. We began by having an introduction. Orla introduced herself and allowed for the team members to each introduce themselves, that was Stephen and I, then we headed to the planting grounds – that was the area surrounding the school sportsfield. The High-Schoolers were very chivalrous and helped us carry the equipment from the car to the planting grounds.  Once everyone was present, we ‘geared up,’ everyone had their gloves on, spades beside them and at least one bare root tree each, we took a few photos, with everyone’s consent of course and got on with the planting. We carried on for about half an hour, then before we knew it, it was tea-time and we each dispersed for the 20 minute break after which we agreed to meet on the planting grounds. 

There was a lot of planting afterwards, the volunteers took the lead, while the rest of us were mostly there for support, also snapping a few pictures and taking videos, as the boys gave it their best. Steven and Vincent, gave a few words of knowledge with regards to the trees, where more can be planted and the biodiversity of the landscape. We were also joined by the Korean teacher for an hour as we were using her lesson slot with her kind permission to carry out the planting session. By lunchtime we were through, we took a few photos, thanked the lads, wished them well on their Brussels trip, packed-up our equipment with their assistance of course and handed them their much deserved chocolate treats as a reward for their hard-work. 

What a lovely planting session it truly was, I learnt a lot as well. Did you know Ireland has 99 types of bees, with 19 types being bumblebees and one new species was only recently discovered? Well now you know! Look up the www.easytreesie.com’s  website for more fun facts and knowledge about Ireland’s native trees. Below are a few snaps of our adventures on that lovely spring day.

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