A group of students at Seymour-Redding Elementary School recently took part in a special tree planting to celebrate Arbor Day.
On Friday, members of the school’s fourth-grade science club and other young students joined Principal Dylan Purlee and David Pyle, a forester with Timber Sales & Wildlife Management in Columbus, to plant a tulip tree on school grounds.
Plantings were organized by White River Resource Conservation and Development at area schools. Seymour-Jackson Elementary also participated, planting trees in their outdoor wildlife habitat.
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The tulip tree species was chosen because it is Indiana’s official state tree and is a way to mark the state’s bicentennial which is being celebrated this year, Pyle said.
Also known as the tulip poplar or yellow poplar, the tree usually grows to be 100 feet tall or more, Pyle added.
The flowers, which bloom in the summer, are yellow in color and look like tulips. Its wood is soft, white in color and is often used to make furniture, trim and cabinets.
Redding’s tree was donated by Orscheln Farm and Home in Seymour. A small plaque was placed in front of the tree designating its species and the occasion. Years from now, students will be able to know why the tree is important, Purlee said.
“Maybe one day you’ll come back and climb this tree,” he told the students gathered for the planting.
Pyle, who is originally from Seymour, said he picked Redding because of the large, unobstructed area available near the school to plant the tree.
The tree, which stands just four to five feet tall now, is located in the northeast corner on the back of the school’s playground.
“I want you guys to keep an eye on it for me,” Pyle told students.
He hopes that by taking part in the planting, students will appreciate the beauty and importance of trees and want to plant more themselves.
After digging the hole, Plant talked about the benefits of having trees, and how to take care of them.
Students agreed the tree was a good addition to the playground because years from now, when it grows, it will provide shade for kids to play under and will also provide oxygen to breathe and a place for birds and squirrels to live.
“I think it’s got a good home here,” Pyle said.