Join salmon conservationists planting 10,000 trees

Posted 2/12/20

The best way to battle the winter blues is to get outside and get your hands dirty.

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Join salmon conservationists planting 10,000 trees

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The best way to battle the winter blues is to get outside and get your hands dirty.

It also happens that the best time to plant trees is in the winter.

That’s why the North Olympic Salmon Coalition is hosting a series of planting parties in February and March.

“We plant in the winter so young trees and shrubs that go in the ground can spend their energy establishing root systems and prepare for spring growth,” wrote Rian Plastow, NOSC Education and Outreach Associate, in an email response to questions from The Leader. “The winter time is also the wet season and so the plants have access to more water than they would in the dry months.”

January has been one of the wettest winters on record. Seattle experienced a full month of rain—with no dry days in January except for New Year’s Day. Cities like Olympia, Hoquiam and Forks had record-setting amounts of rain in January, according to the National Weather Service. In Olympia, the rain broke an all-time record of 29 days set in 1953.

It might seem like a gloomy winter for humans, but for trees it’s perfect. Not only that, but a greater snowpack in the Olympics means there will be full streams in the summertime.

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition has a goal of planting 10,000 stems in the ground this winter.

“All of these will be native trees and shrubs,” Plastow said. “Our Americorps Washington Conservation Crew is a huge help—planting thousands of trees in Jefferson and Clallam counties with state agencies, the tribes and willing landowners.”

Volunteers can join in the planting fun by going to the coalition’s website and registering for one of its planting parties. Volunteers will need to dress in warm clothing and prepare to plant in muddy areas, but warm drinks are provided at each planting party. To learn more, go to nosc.org/events.

The Jefferson Land Trust is also hosting a series of stewardship work parties this spring. These work parties typically focus on removing non-native species from the Land Trust’s preserved land in Jefferson County.

The first one coming up is at the Chai-yahk-Wh Preserve on Marrowstone Island on Feb. 25, where volunteers will help remove non-native blackberry, ivy, holly and spurge laurel to allow a diversity of trees, shrubs, and understory to thrive. They will plant conifers in openings below the red alder understory to help restore the conifer forest. To RSVP for a work party with the Land Trust, go to saveland.org.

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