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Monday - December 07, 2009

From: Sulphur, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get seedling trees from the local extension service and/or local tree farms. Can you please tell me what are the top 3 trees that will survive in Oklahoma and north Texas? Any other information you have will be appreciated such as the best way to go about doing this project. I'll be going into camps with hundreds of kids and school classrooms.

ANSWER:

This sounds like an incredible project, and we are going to find trees native to those areas, and suggest the ones we feel would lend themselves to being planted by children. To begin, we Googled on "tree planting for children" and got several resources on that subject. We selected one that gives some general information on the subject: kidsface.org How to Plant a Tree, and suggest you use the same process to find more specialized information that you might need. That leaves us with our job of selecting three trees to recommend to you. We can't testify as to whether they are the "top three," they will just all be easily planted trees native to your planned area. You can search on your own by going to our Recommended Species section, and first clicking on North Texas on the map and then "tree" in the General Appearance drop-down menu. Repeat the search for Oklahoma. For our purposes, we are going to choose trees that don't get terribly big so that there won't be as much concern about them being planted too close to foundations or power wires. They all have attractive blooms, and we have included the Propagation Instructions with each:

Trees for Children to Plant in Oklahoma and North Texas:

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) - Propagate by fresh seed, dormant cuttings, or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - member of Fabaceae (pea) family and has large legume-like pods producing seeds which sprout easily

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree) - Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Few seeds are formed. Those sown immediately after collection may take two springs to germinate. Scarification and stratification hasten germination. Smoke-trees are also propagated from root or stem cuttings or layering. Semi-hardwood or softwood cut

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