University of Illinois Extension
Environmental Awareness: Knowing Your World

Plant a Tree, Store Some Carbon

Trees use carbon dioxide to live and grow. Carbon is stored in the wood of trees, so trees can take carbon dioxide out of the air and store the carbon for long periods of time.

Bare Root Tree Planting

Bare root transplants must be handled very carefully. Exposure of the fine roots to air will dry them out very quickly, so it's important to keep the roots moist.

Related Activity

To plant a bare root tree, dig a hole larger than the spread of the roots. Spread the roots out. Locate the root collar on the tree which is a swollen area on the trunk just above the roots. Do not plant the root collar below the soil surface. Use lots of water. Water the hole, then add more water as dirt if being put back into the hole. Get air bubbles that may be in the dirt out by gently packing the soil with a hoe or your foot. Use wood mulch around the newly planted tree to keep the soil from drying out, and to keep grass from growing close to the trunk.

Container Grown Tree Planting

Trees may be grown in containers made of plastic clay, or mache. Always take the container off! Roots in containers have to be straightened out before planting. Otherwise, they will eventually circle the trunk, cutting off water and nutrients. Roots can be straightened out by hand or with a knife (have an adult help!). When transplanting, do not put soil deeper than the original soil line of the tree. Add water and mulch when transplanting container grown trees too!


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