Planting trees (Moscow, Russia)

Ecological Volunteering

For several years 4 moscow branches of NA have been participating “Plant forest” campaign in different parts of Moscow region. This time it was special.

We used to come to places where, next to a beautiful living forest, there were entire hectares of trees cut down due to disease. Yes, this is the first surprising fact that beginners learn: trees get sick too. Pine trees in the Moscow region are severely affected by the bark beetle.

The second surprise is that the sword meant to be the most effective tool in planting young pine seedlings. Of course, not an traditional fighting sword, but a special landing tool, the Kolesov sword, which was invented at the end of the 19th century.

Due to the wet cold spring, planting was postponed to May-June, when the weather becomes more favorable for seedlings. Thanks to this we got acquainted with another preparatory stage.

Have you ever seen dill beds the length of a football field? It was this comparison that came to mind when we saw the fields sown with pines. Several hectares of land are beds with one, two- and three-year-old plants.

The whole technology of this stage is to carefully pull the seedlings out of the ground. To do this, they need to be taken under the root and easily pulled outside. Due to the moisture of the earth, this is quite easy. Then the seedlings are tied into large bunches of 150-200 pieces for ease of carrying and loading into a car.

Further, young pines are sent to the so-called glacier (a mixture of earth, ice and hay), where they are stored until the suitable weather comes. The foresters explained why an artificial extension of winter is nesessary for seedlings. It turns out that if at this time seedlings are left in the ground, they will begin to actively grow and spend their energy on growth. But when it is necessary to plant pines in another place, then it is likely that they will not have enough strength to adapt.

So this way we have helped to prepare more than a hundred thousand seedlings for the whole day. We hope that most of them will take root  and turn into a beautiful mighty forest over the years.

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