Urban (re)Forestation

Reclaimed Garden contributor Dennis Woodward and his son Miles have been working on another project – reforesting TC Jester Park in Houston all by themselves.

The park lost lots of trees after the Summer 2011 drought. Last January, he planted 85 seedlings transplanted from his back yard and waters them weekly with water from the bayou that flows through the park.

Little seedlings take root more easily and have a higher survival rate than small trees with established root systems.  The small to large size trees experience a lot of trauma when their root systems are disturbed during transplanting and never grow as strong as seedlings.

Recently, City of Houston mowing crews wiped out about a third of Dennis’ seedlings. The City prefers to plan public spaces and plant their own trees. However the City may not have the financial or man-power resources to replace trees lost to the drought, especially when the City is running in the red.

Dennis’ independent methods, while maybe rebellious, are free to tax-payers and bring more green to neighborhood public spaces. Dennis hopes that other Houstonians might allow native plants and trees that sprout in their gardens to grow where they sprout so they can be transplanted to city parks in cooler winter weather. He says “the mosses, ferns, lichen, vines, and understory plants are just as important as the trees.”

Want more info or to be involved as an individual, school project or neighborhood project? For more info, you can be in touch with Dennis by email at woodward_dennis@yahoo.com  or by phone at 713-290-8961.

Channel 11 news shared Dennis’ project last Friday. Here’s a link to his story.