The Newest Member of Team Trees

Wolfe Rygaard

If you’ve spent a second on YouTube, chances are you’ve heard of Mr. Beast. With over 130 million subscribers, Mr. Beast’s audience is treated to a wide variety of content ranging from tipping a pizza delivery man an entire house to real-life re-enactments of the popular show Squid Game (without the consequences of course). With hundreds of videos, the one that interested me most was the one titled “Planting 20,000,000 Trees, My Biggest Project Ever!”. In this video, Mr. Beast, along with a team of volunteers, sets out to plant 20 million trees. As I scrolled through the comments, many people wanted to know the same thing, how does one join Team Trees? Though I can’t get you an interview with Mr. Beast, I can teach you how to plant a tree in your very own community, which I’m pretty sure makes you an honorary member of Team Trees.

Before doing any digging in the soil, you should dig through the internet to figure out what tree is best suited for your area. Planting a tree that can’t withstand cold temperatures is not the best idea if you live in a northern state like Maine. A good rule of thumb is to plant native species. Once you find the tree of your dreams, give 811 a call before you start digging. 811 will either send out a professional locator or guide you through the process of marking underground utility lines. This is an important step as accidentally striking a buried utility line comes with the obvious consequence of said utility being cut off but can also result in serious harm and even death to those in the area. After all underground utilities have been marked with paint or flags, at long last, you can start the planting process.

Start by digging a hole that’s about two-three times the size of the pot. The hole should be about 8–12 inches deep. The measurements don’t have to be perfect but keep in mind that planting a tree too deep can cause bark deterioration, which can lead to the death of the plant. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure the root flare, the part where the trunk meets the roots, is just above the soil level.
Photo byDaily Journal

Now that the tree is in the ground, fill the hole using the original soil. This process is also known as backfilling. Gently pat the soil with your hand or foot to reduce the number of air pockets. All you have to do now is water your newly-planted tree and add a ring of mulch. Since I’m sure you know how to water a tree, let’s focus on the latter.

To properly mulch a tree, make a bagel (or donut if that’s what you prefer) around the tree. The tree will of course be the hole of the bagel. The dough should start about 3–6 inches from the tree’s trunk. Keep in mind that massive amounts of mulch aren’t required. A 6ft wide circle will do. Furthermore, a thickness of 2–4 inches is just fine. It’s best to avoid piling mulch at the base of the tree as that will cause the same bark deterioration we tried to avoid earlier.
Improper mulchingPhoto byKansas State University
Proper mulchingPhoto bySassy Decor

And just like that, you’ve planted a tree! Before you know it, this small tree will grow into a home for birds and squirrels and so much more! Now, the world is dying to know, what amazing thing will you do next?


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I am an environmental scientist who currently resides in Puerto Rico. I’m also passionate about basketball and Tottenham Hotspur.

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