The following native trees of the Treasure Coast are being spotlighted for reforestation by local residents:
Sand Live Oak
TREES are one of man’s best friends. They breathe out oxygen which we breathe in and they breathe in carbon dioxide which we breathe out. They also take in enormous amounts of carbon dioxide which we put out into the environment through industrial and energy production. The shade of trees also cools us directly during hot seasons and can lower the cooling costs for our buildings when they are growing nearby. Trees also help to stabilize soil and hold water in the earth diminishing storm water runoff. We greatly help ourselves and the natural environment when we plant native trees.
PLANTING and CARING for YOUR NATIVE TREE
1. Placement: Choose a planting spot that is mostly sunny and large enough for the mature tree. It should be free of overhead wires and branches from other trees and away from septic systems.
2. Planting: Dig a hole to the depth of the root ball. Do not add any soil amendments or fertilizer. While near the hole carefully remove the tree from the pot. Examine the roots, and, if they are wrapped around the root ball, loosen some of the exterior ones. Plant with the top of the root ball level with the surrounding soil. Use the extra soil to make a saucer to help hold water.
3. Mulch: Add 2-3” of organic mulch from the outer edge of the saucer to the edge of the root ball. Do not allow mulch to remain against the trunk as this can cause the bark to rot.
4. Watering: Water into the saucer every day for two weeks, then every other day for two weeks. Thereafter, water twice per week if there is no substantial rainfall. After one year the tree should be well established and require no supplemental watering unless there is a serious drought.
5. Enjoy: Affectionately check the tree once in a while to make sure it is ok and take any needed action e.g. protection, watering, etc. This kind attention will reward you with many years of shade, beauty, and wildlife viewing.